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Under the Arrows

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Album Review

Under the Arrows, the second album from Spinning Jennies frontman Jeff Shelton's band the Well Wishers, picks up pretty much exactly where their debut, Twenty-Four Seven, left off. Tight power pop tunes melt with jangly guitars and steady drums in one big tribute to Matthew Sweet, the Posies, and Big Black. This means that it's nearly impossible for Under the Arrows to be a bad record, but it also means that's it's not much more than anything that any of the aforementioned artists ever released. The Well Wishers know the basics and they stick to them. Shelton, who writes and sings all of the songs as well as plays most of the instruments on the album, is well versed in writing catchy hooks perfect for summer days and forgetting regrets; it's hard not to hum along to every track after even only one listen, because they all seem like something you've already heard before but can't quite place. "In Search of Alter Egos" could be from a Guided By Voices record, "Only Sky," with its hook "and who states the obvious like I do?/I need you," sounds a whole lot like R.E.M., the chorus of "Lucky You" is very reminiscent of something by Oasis, and "Fourth of July" is just like that song by the guy from the Blasters, Dave Alvin. Oh wait, it is that song. But these resemblances are only a problem if you're looking for something new, experimental, and groundbreaking. If you just want something that's full of fun, unpretentious power pop, Under the Arrows could be the perfect album.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

The Well Wishers are a side project for power pop collective the Spinning Jennies' bandleader Jeff Shelton that specialize in harmony-laden choruses and elaborate arrangements. Their debut for Not Lame Records features 13 meticulously crafted slices of pop underground nuggets that recall the Posies, Matthew Sweet, and XTC. Twenty-Four...
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Under the Arrows, The Well Wishers
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