2nd GRADE – ” Hit to Hit “

Posted: January 21, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,
2nd Grade

This album answers a critical question: What if Robert Pollard wasn’t a heroic drunk, but instead a lovestruck, heart-on-his-sleeve bard? Employing the Guided By Voices’ frontman’s philosophy that every idea is a good one and songs longer than two minutes are bloated messes, this Philadelphia band blows through 24 cuts in a scant 41 minutes on their sophomore album. Fans of Big Star, the Magnetic Fields and Yo La Tengo will appreciate the group’s sensitive song writing approach, which comes in forms of power pop (“Boys in Heat”), alt-country (“100 Hrs”), and lo-fi fuzz rock (“Jazz Chorus”).

For Peter Gill (Friendship, Free Cake For Every Creature), the fearless leader of Philadelphia power-pop group 2nd Grade, being our full, open selves means we can be as sincere as we are sarcastic. New album “Hit To Hit” is about wearing your heart on your sleeve but at arm’s length. It’s about being both earnest and ironic.

Hit To Hit mirrors our multifaceted existence over 24, tiny tracks. Continuing with the fun-size structures of his previous LP, Wish You Were Here Tour (Sleeper Records), the songs act like a collection of short stories. There’s the adolescent, heartbroken tale of “When You Were My Sharona”, the anticipation of making memories on “Summer of Your Dreams”, the first taste of freedom on “My Bike”. While Hit to Hit is absolutely an intricate exploration of the human experience,

Sonically speaking, the songs cover an impressive range of stylistic ground. The sweet, peppy pop-banger “Velodrome” is juxtaposed by the gnarly wailing of “Baby’s First Word” while the sturdy twangs of the Jon-Samuels-sung “100 Hours” bashes against the gentle, ethereally delicate acoustics of “You’re So Cool”. “It almost can’t even hold together because it is so at odds with itself but it does in the end. It’s one group of musicians presenting all these different ideas and directions of songwriting and miraculously, it holds together.” Gill says.

Double Double Whammy Records

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