Quarterbacks Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks Quarterbacks
New Jersey band Quarterbacks write songs entirely about girls and play a catchy brand of twee punk. Their self-titled debut album poses a question: How many songs can you write about the same subject without it getting stale?

The answer, in fact, is 19. In just under 25 minutes, Quarterbacks sounds like an exploration of form and structure, as the band offer subtle variations on a theme, using similar songwriting ingredients throughout. The sound of the band changes little —having established a few songs in that each track will involve propulsive drums, trebly, Minutemen-like clean guitar and melodic bass, Quarterbacks don't really deviate from their ways.

And yet, each song feels like an exciting new bash, with frontman Kyle Engle squeezing his words into every last second before the band blast their way into another short, explosive section. One wondering what a band could do with such limited songwriting space may find an answer in "Simple Songs," a microcosm of the band's sound that finds Engle yelping about grappling with the despair of only being able to find meaning in catchy chords.

The recording savvy of producer Kyle Gilbride of Swearin' helps sharpen the band's jagged edges and gets them to sound truly potent, playing through each one-minute tune like they were running out of studio time. Quarterbacks sound like a band not too concerned with leaving their comfort zones, but when they have a debut album this strong, it's hard to find fault with that. (Team Love)