Hobbes Fanclub at Dagger

Keep an eye out for the Shelflife label, especially this year. While they’ve always had a strong stable of bands, this year with releases by bands like this and the Luxembourg Signal (plus 7”s by Gingerlys and Close Lobsters) is especially strong. The band began in 2008 in Bradford, England by pop lover Leon Carroll. The band had previous releases on Cloudberry and Dufflecoat and then released their debut 7” on Shelflife in 2012. That song is here along with 10 others and there is an eye on strong melodies here. Sure the band could be lumped in with shoegaze bands but unlike a lot of shoegaze band these guys have some of the stickiest melodies around. These songs actually move and don’t just float off to nothingland. The 1-2-3 punch of the first three songs, “In to the Night,” “Stay Gold” and “Your Doubting Heart’ all glaze over the cake that already had some thick frosting on it, but fear not, they don’t run out of gas from there. “The Boy from Outer Space” is the best song that Pains of Being Pure at Heart never wrote (same with “I Knew You’d Understand”). That’s the first five songs and the six others are nearly as good. With songs this good it won’t be long before Carroll jumps into the upper echelon of indie pop songwriters. www.shelflife.com