"Take Two"

(Translation Loss 2007)Quips - Take Two

Suburban Philadelphia's The Quips have taken indie rock and rolled it around in the mud. The band's buzzing rock sound is not quite a throwback to grunge but it is not quite indie or psychedelic, either. Falling somewhere in between, "Take Two," the band's sophomore album, blends dreamy but mumbled vocals with buzzing yet melodic guitar for an interesting combination that retains that fresh rough around the edges feel.

"If you're lonely, honey, there's nothing I can do right now/But if you want it, you can the last drag of my cigarette," singer and guitarist Michael Prout offers coolly on the quiet and wistful "Me and My." That lonesome and low mood continues vaguely for the loose instrumentation of the light "Alexander Hamilton." The Quips balance their guitar sound between a muddy pop sound, like on "Calm Me Down" or the bright and retro "Coming Along," and a dreamy, blissed out sound, like the spacey ballad "Lady Powerline" and "Strange Man."

The Quips' "Take Two" is loose guitar driven rock that never takes itself too seriously but neither does it aim for perfection. Throughout the album, The Quips show that they clearly have the means to write a well-rounded and solid album. Indeed, there are numerous moments of clarity on "Take Two" that suggest that The Quips know exactly what they are doing. But by the time the album finishes, there is an overwhelming feeling that things never really progressed past the idea stage.


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