“Drift into the Summer,” the opening track on Tomorrow Waits, does just what its title states and sets the stage for an album filled to the breaking point with undeniably catchy exuberance. The song sounds exactly like what Weezer would be putting out if Rivers Cuomo hadn’t let fame go to his beard. It’s a lost Blue Album outtake, deeper in Beach Boy melodies but with more affected British accents. After the throwaway noise of “Lost in the Petrified Forest,” “The Bering Sea” continues bouncing along on a finger-picked guitar riff echoing early R.E.M. and featuring inspired idiocy on lyrics like: “It’s been unbearable on the Bering Sea / well it’s terrible since you went away / no one stops to rescue me.” The R.E.M. influence is even more prevalent on “Oh I” which toes a beautiful line between “Man on the Moon” and Pavement’s “Range Life.”
There’s almost no way the second half of the album can live up to the first, and after the catchier-than-an-airborne-virus, moog-driven “Engine of a Lifetime” and the shoegazer ode “A Great Step Forward,” the songwriting starts to get a little wobbly. Both “Miami” and “Perfect Office Street” are fine songs except for the atmospheric outros seemingly tacked on to create some sort of concept album dynamic that’s a mystery to me. “The Laughing Horse” is another forty-second throwaway keyboard instrumental that serves no purpose. The album’s final (and title) track is extended beyond the nine minute mark by more and more ambient samples, including that of a thunderstorm. This album is the equivalent of aural sunshine with no clouds on the horizon, no question about it. It’s likely this is just a rookie band misstep since it’s obvious these guys have the songwriting ability, but we’ll have to wait a little while before they put together a great album from start to finish.