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Alison Statton

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Album Review

The first thing you need to do with Pants Yell! is forget about the name. It's probably derived from a story from one of the bandmember's childhoods or a cute literary quote, but one thing's for sure: the band will set the dials on your twee-o-meter jumping like almost nothing else likely could. And while the Boston trio exhibits many of the symptoms associated with twee pop (intimate, wavering vocals, twangly guitars, quiet instrumentation, and a generally gentle and sweet approach to both the music and the lyrical content), they rise above the run-of-the-mill twee-peddlers by dropping some hard-won wisdom onto their lyrics, flesh out the songs with confident horns and lush strings, and generally project a sense that they belong to the real world and not an insulated gumdrop fantasy land (though that's not such a terrible place to visit from time to time — only the bands that never venture forth cause problems for people who like some rough with the sweet). The closest comparison to Pants Yell!'s sound would have to be the similarly non-precious Lucksmiths. Like them, Pants Yell! has a charming vocalist, instantly catchy/long-lasting songs, and a nimble approach to presenting them. The 11 tracks on Alison Statton (extra points for the reference to the post-punk icon) are of unvarying high quality with a nice mix of uptempo almost-rockers ("More Purple," "A New City Life"), midtempo orchestrated ballads ("Two French Sisters," "Evan's Way"), and hushed laments ("For Dee"). Pants Yell! isn't doing anything you've never heard before on this album, but they manage to make their classic indie pop sound fresh and invigorating and that's good enough to put them near the top of the twee pop candy mountain.


Formed: Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Playing catchy, slightly naïve pop that suggests a stripped-down American variation on the C-86 sounds of decades past, Pants Yell! is a trio from Cambridge, MA, who began making music together in 2003. Andrew Churchman and Sterling Bryant were both studying art in Boston when they began writing and recording songs in dorm rooms and basements. With Churchman on guitar and vocals, Bryant on bass, keyboards, and backing vocals, and Carly Smith on drums and backing vocals, Pants Yell! made their recorded...
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Alison Statton, Pants Yell!
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