Just in time for summer’s last blast is the decidedly sunny and upbeat (with maybe a touch of sly irony) sophisticated pop from New York’s aptly named Gladshot. If you’re looking for an antidote to over-processed, icy electronica, you’ve found it. Their sound has an honest folkiness about it, but at the same time, it’s pleasantly thrashy garage rock, with warm vocals and some feel-good harmonies from Debbie Andrews and Mike Blaxill. When you look at some of their faves and influences — Joni Mitchell, Small Faces, Big Star, Neil Finn, Beatles, Teenage Fanclub — you can understand where they’re coming from, yet their music is a fresh-sounding synthesis of many top-shelf sounds and sensibilities. And that’s a very good thing indeed. Maxwell’s Cool Demon was released last year, produced by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Okkervil River) and named “Best Rock Record of the Year” at WHFR in Detroit. It’s surprising to see that it was just their second release after debut album Burn Up and Shine .
There’s some very strong musicianship here, with noisy guitars, Hammond organ, Farfisa (yes, I had to look that one up), Wurlitzer, piano and percussion. Needless to say, they really do get seriously jamming. As for future projects, word has it they’re developing “a dystopian, futuristic rock ‘n’ roll musical” called “Barcode,” written with ‘Hair’ co-creator Jim Rado. I’m not quite sure what to make of that — I assume that’s for real?
Here’s their video for “Fabulous Friends,” a fun look at late-night television advertising, a bit of an impulse buying addiction and more packaging peanuts than you can shake a stick at.