Hobbes Fanclub at The Answer is in the Beat

I’m hoping these folks mean they’re fans of Calvin’s stuffed tiger buddy, but I’m guessing they mean the philosopher. Which means this band probably agrees that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. This album isn’t as dreary as you’d expect, though. More than anything, it recalls late ’80s/early ’90s British indie, the days after C86 but before Britpop. I’m thinking Stone Roses, and bands that were around a little before them. Also, New Zealand indie-pop bands like The Chills and The Clean, of course. Jangly, reverby, earnest/yearning, wide-eyed but still kind of drowsy, kind of anthemic. Could’ve been released on Slumberland any year since that label began. Most uptempo tracks: “Your Doubting Heart”, “I Knew You’d Understand”, “Outside Myself”, “Why Should You Tell The Truth?”. Slowest: “How Could You Leave Me Like This?”, “Sometimes”. “Stay Gold” has a bit of a surfy twang to it, but in an indie-pop context.