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The Optimist

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iTunes Review

It’s hard not to avoid a time-warp effect when digging the tunes on the New Collision’s debut album. Echoes of Blondie, Missing Persons, the Motels, and similar female-fronted new-wave groups are ever-present on The Optimist. Singer Sarah Guild projects a smart, take-no-guff presence as she rips into pretentious ex-boyfriends (“Over”), speaks up for the underclass (“Ne’er-Do-Well”) and welcomes societal breakdown (“Swift Destruction”). Her honeyed yet stinging vocals are bolstered by husband Scott Guild’s jabbing guitar riffs and Casey Gruttadauria’s bubbly retro-synth lines. Tracks like “Coattail Rider” and “Lazy” deliver melodic blasts of jittery upbeat angst, perfect for spontaneous pogo dancing. The band shows particular wit by re-imagining the B-52’s “Give Me Back My Man” as a gloomy New Order-style number. The clincher is “Dying Alone,” a hard-charging anthem of alienation with an inescapable chorus hook. With a sense of style and a minimum of irony, the New Collisions pull off the difficult feat of reworking familiar sounds into something fresh and vital.

The Optimist, New Collisions
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Oct 05, 2010

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