Not-so-new kids on the block Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino come crashing back into the indie scene with their fourth album, “Lightning.” Listeners may want to brace themselves before embarking on this high-energy musical adventure.
Known for their upbeat indie hits “Daylight” and “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare” off their sophomore album “Grand,” the Brooklyn duo’s newest release is full of strong beats and simple lyrics. The backbeats pleasantly pulse through the tracks, while Schifino’s high-powered drumming smashes through Johnson’s high-pitched synths.
The album’s lead-off single, “Let’s Go,” is a nice break from the rhythmic noise. The slower tempo is just right and not hard to keep up with, but other tracks may be seizure-inducing from the rapid fire of drum beats and searing electronics. In similar fashion, Johnson’s repetitive lyrics prove to be catchy and full of basic meaning — a nice balance to their sometimes overwhelming sound.
“Not That Bad” channels its roots with less drums and the layering of happy-go-lucky synths. The track showcases the duo’s ability to parallel their emotions with the varied tempos.
Making an unexpected appearance, Schifino’s vocals are added to a melancholy mixture of slow chords in “Ten Dollars I Found.” The song breaks out of the usual mold, but it closes the album on a strange hushed note, seemingly taking the listener down from a music-induced high.
Though the thunderstorm of percussion may leave listeners yearning for the less in-your-face style of the previous albums, these indie best friends prove that big sounds can come in small packages.
Overall rating: 3 stars
The indie duo released their fourth LP “Lightning.”