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Old Traditions, New Standards

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Album Review

Old Traditions, New Standards is probably Crayon and Tullycraft leader Sean Tollefson's best album. All 12 songs are charm-packed, hook-heavy, twee pop creations. The players are energetic, Tollefson's vocals are confident, and the songwriting presents no misfires. Pat Maley's clean, crisp production gives each song exactly the right spark and feel. With subject matter encompassing superheroes, scads of other indie bands, visits to the seashore, Dollywood, and sweetness, it's safe to say that the cuteness factor of the album is off the charts. That doesn't mean the songs don't rock out. Jangling shambolic guitars, smart arrangements, and an infectious sense of fun mark the album for twee classic status. Highlights include the tale of hang-ups and problems for "Superboy and Supergirl," the tale of young "Josie" who wants to be in a legitimate punk rock band, and "Pop Songs Your Boyfriend's Too Stupid to Know About." The latter song is about as fun as a song can be, as Tollefson tells a girl that he and she share a love for Neutral Milk Hotel and Halo Benders and that her new boyfriend can stick to Green Day and the Breeders. The song is a little valentine to indie bands and fans in the know. Tullycraft's playing is so good throughout the album that they even suggest the the Velvet Underground on "Dollywood." Delightfully fun and never overstepping its welcome, Old Traditions, New Standards is one of the best twee punk-pop albums of its time.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Seattle-based indie pop trio Tullycraft formed in 1994 from the ashes of Crayon, reuniting singer/bassist Sean Tollefson with drummer Jeff Fell; completing the lineup with ex-Wimp Factor 14 guitarist Gary Miklusek, the group debuted in 1995 with the Harriet label single "True Blue," subsequently notching an underground classic with "Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend Is Too Stupid to Know About," their contribution to Harriet's The Long Secret compilation. Following the Cher Doll 7" "Bailey Park," Tullycraft...
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Old Traditions, New Standards, Tullycraft
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