You Me & Iowa
The Adventures of You Me & Iowa
Every summer must be accompanied by an album. I don't mean dopey reggae hits or girl-pop numbers repeating the word "summer" ad nauseam, but well-wrought tunes that taste good topped with sunshine while also serving as the soundtrack to the entire season.
This summer, it's The Adventures of You Me & Iowa, from Los Angeles power pop outfit You Me & Iowa. The band exists somewhere within a triangle created by the technical mastery of Minus the Bear, the lyrical complexity of Death Cab for Cutie, and pop sensibilities that have been hard to find since the heyday of the Beach Boys. From the first cut, "Dress the Stage," the record sets sail across waves of poppy rock hooks that are firmly grounded by the band's musical knowledge - perhaps not surprisingly, knowing that the quintet has between them a wealth of formal training. Adventures was produced and engineered by Dave Newton of Mighty Lemon Drop fame and mixed by J. Robbins (Dismemberment Plan). Couple that production experience with a band as drenched in talent as YM&I and the result is an album that never slows, sinks, or ever sounds anything like any other band on the scene.
"Margaret Mourning" starts with Ryan Ross' pounding synth and morphs into a soaring number soaked in layers of vocals anchored by front man Andrew Carroll's commanding, and refreshingly unique voice. Wrapping up the eight-track album is "Make Your Home (Smell Delicious)," a genre-crossing number about an infomercial, of all things, that showcases the rhythm section of drummer Antony Benedetti and bassist Ryan Julio. Guitarist Tizoc Estrada ties together much of the record by dropping mathematically precise licks in places where other bands might leave an empty space.
The CD isn't in wide circulation yet, so iTunes might be your best bet, but since the CD includes 14 pages of comic book liner notes - we'd recommend heading over to CDBaby.com or Amazon. - Mike Bookey