Here’s to a kick-ass (Eternal) summer…
Eternal Summers’ music has been bouncing around in my brain for a couple of years now. While I don’t want or need to rehash the cautious optimism I’ve had for Eternal Summers until now, the band has exhibited occasional flashes of brilliance (“Pure Affection” off 2011’s Prisoner EP) alongside middling or even substandard work (most of their odds and sods Dawn of the Eternal Summers from earlier this year.) However, there were enough moments of genius that kept Virginians Nicole Yun (guitar and vocals) and Daniel Cundiff (drums) on my short list of promising up-and-comers. On Correct Behavior, the band has added bassist Jonathan Woods, who ran in the same Roanoke arts scene as Eternal Summers and also played in other bands with Cundiff. Word is the band had to suss out the band’s sound after Yun’s beloved Parker Nitefly was stolen while on tour, and she was forced to use a back up Telecaster, which lacked the low end necessary for the band’s live sound. As often seems to be the case in these kinds of matters, a semi-tragedy turns into a happy accident, and Eternal Summers previous hints at greatness become all the more apparent.
While Correct Behavior is not necessarily a wild departure in terms of influence, it’s still post punk spiked indie-pop. The album is not even that different with regards to subject matter, retaining a sense of the polymorphously perverse as “Disciplinarian” from 2010’s Silver. I assume that Correct Behavior refers to the same sorts sexual shenaningans Lena Dunham has happily overshared on Girls and in her 2010 film Tiny Furniture. Frequently, when a band ups the sonic ante, the results can be mixed, but Correct Behavior remains a mean, if less lean effort, and one that is surprisingly blown out. Eternal Summers have gone from promising might-be’s, to professional rockers in a relatively short time.
The songs on Correct Behavior, a tight but not stingy even length of ten songs, wax and wane while trying on different outfits of alternative and indie’s high points. There’s a little shoegaze here (“Disappear”, “Summerset”) and a strong mashup of Joy Division meets Lee Renaldo there (“Girls in the City”). Yun’s guitar playing is especially strong on the album, most obvious on the 2012 summer-jam-of-the-year nominee “You Kill”. Eschewing the overused quiet/loud/quiet dynamic, the song reaches instead for loud/louder/loudest and grasps tightly with both hands. The soaring, soul shredding chorus of “You Kill” has set a hooky standard other bands in 2012 should be happy to try and top; although, they will almost certainly fail. Yun wails along with her guitar, “What it seems? Fall and forget you always / Dream I will, but don’t you / But you kill the haze / I could always fall and forget you always / Leave out love without you, but you kill / But you kill”. On Correct Behavior, Eternal Summers are the ones doing the killing.
Purchase: Eternal Summers – Correct Behavior