CD Review: Shout Out Louds

Work (Merge)

The title of Shout Out Louds' third album doesn't conjure up a lot of great images, particularly since the band members' full-time gig is probably being in the band. And if being in a band has gotten to the point of being work, shouldn't the Shout Out Louds give it up? It'd be a shame if they did, since the music they've made is pretty solid. Although their debut, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, was picked up by Capitol, they never really belonged on a major label. Their last album, 2007's Our Ill Wills, on North Carolina indie Merge, fit right in with labelmates Arcade Fire and Spoon. Work is more of the same. Adam Olenius' voice still sounds like it was ripped straight from the still-beating heart of the '80s alt-rock scene, and the instrumentation adds to that atmosphere. A hypnotically chiming guitar line accentuates "Fall Hard," while "Play the Game" features mournful strings. "Four By Four" and the melancholy "Moon" sound a lot like Echo and the Bunnymen. Still, Work just doesn't have a lot of memorable hooks. — Jeremy Willets

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