Arriving about five years late to the party, Eulogies come to the battle lines packing jangly guitars and instantly appealing garage pop melodies much like The Strokes and Interpol did at the turn of the decade. Yet their second full-length release, Here Anonymous, somehow manages to stay afloat in the ever waning waters of indie rock and is a determined ear-grabber.
The vocals of Peter Walker are unobtrusive and just soft enough to be a comfort and not a cushion (think a less tricky Beck, or a more ambitious Ben Gibbard), but the real winner here is the pastel wonderland painted by the dueling guitars of Drew Phillips and — oh, hey! — Peter Walker. One’s very clean and crisp, while the other digs into the fuzz. One often hiccups and jumps in a manner that owes as much debt to Dinosaur Jr as it does to The Cars, while the other pulls familiar-sounding riffs from the back catalogs of pop’s past. The marriage of these guitarists bridges the gap between mid-’80s and mid-’90s Alternative Rock, ya know, but for the 21st Century. Like the return of vinyl in the midst of the decline of CD sales, an oxymoron for the digital age.
As for the songs, there are plenty of jewels on this record (“Bad Connection,” “This Fine Progression” ) but the diamond is “Two Can Play” — a song that finds Walker dueting with Silversun Pickups’ Nikki Monninger. Talk about an auditory match made in indie rock heaven! If music was candy, this little nugget would be a butterscotch. The two bands share a label (of which Walker is the co-founder), so let’s cross our fingers for a joint tour that finds Monninger joining the band onstage to bring this studio honeymoon to life.
All things considered, Eulogies have won my vote. They may be fashionably late, but they’ve come bearing sweets.