The Switches | Lay Down the Law (Interscope)

cd_switches.jpgThe most recognizable thing about The Switches is their haunting harmonies and overly poppy choruses.







Everyone says the British are coming, but really, have they ever stopped coming? The Switches are proof of the continued invasion. They bring infectious indie pop rock with their first American release, Lay Down the Law.

This may not be the band’s first record, but it is the first time they recorded with producer Rob Schnapf to polish a sound that is all their own. The most recognizable thing about The Switches is their haunting harmonies and overly poppy choruses. It’s the type of music you could hear at a bar with friends and start singing along immediately.

The album starts off strong with "Drama Queen," and right away you get a taste of their infectious pop reminiscent of The Beach Boys, layering harmonies with straight-up rock guitars to show they mean business, but in a let’s-have-a-party way.

The album varies quite a bit after the first song. Up next, "Snakes & Ladders" is one of the slower songs on the album and the most political, but once this departure is over they get back into the sound that seems more them with "Lay Down the Law." It has more of a soccer ballad feel, if you will.

The second song may be political, but most of the songs are about love and the loss thereof. This can be seen plainly in "Coming Down" and "Every Second Counts," each with the type of lyrics that make for the classic "I have a broken heart and want to sing about it" feel. The difference is that the way The Switches present heartbreak: you find yourself dancing to it and liking it.

In the sea of woes woven in this album, "Killer Karma" presents a positive, uplifting message. It’s the type of song that says you can’t know the answers to everything, and that’s all right.

The only complaint I have about the album is the placement of a few songs. "Killer Karma" seems like a perfect way to end the record—and then "Testify" comes on. I would have liked to see those two songs switched; "Snakes & Ladders" just doesn’t feel like the right second song to me either. It’s a great song, just maybe a later-in-the-album song.

Lay Down the Law isn’t a long album and the songs are pretty short, but they are just long enough to get you hooked and wanting a second listen. They are a relatively new band, but this album is a good start. I look forward to more poppy choruses and party jams by The Switches in the future. A- | Josh Schobert

RIYL: The Rakes, The Cribs, Blur

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