[HOUSE-PARTY ELECTRO-POP] Some music just sounds like it's meant to be played in a basement. On its previous EPs, Portland three-piece Bombs Into You created grungy, electronic house-party music—heavy on distortion, synthesizer, filtered vocals and little else. Three years later, the band's first full-length album, Shake, shows the group relying on the same basic tools, but building layers upon layers to produce something a little more self-assured and cohesive.
Shake thrives when guided by floating, atmospheric guitars and the pulsing, full-sounding synth hooks that wobble and entrance throughout the album, especially on "Dizzy Air", "Save You" and "Play It On." The standout track, "Six," takes a basic piano line, glitches it up and builds into a simple beat, with bursts of low synths and one or two notes that call out through the performance. At one point reaching a beautiful, melancholy sound not unlike that of Explosions in the Sky, it's the first song on the album that's clean in texture, and it's a fun, catchy little thing.
At times, the band's frenetic energy becomes overwhelmingly garbled. Those moments, however, are less frequent than the successful ones. Perhaps Bombs Into You is finally ready to move out of the basement.
SEE IT: Bombs Into You plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Souvenir Driver and Hong Kong Banana, on Sunday, Dec. 22. 9 pm. $6 advance, $8 day of show.