There has been talk, in the Web-O-Sphere as of late, of a so-called “90's revivalism” trend amongst newer, up-and-coming bands. Names like Sebadoh, Guided By Voices, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr. are popping up within writings on music like weeds in an unkempt yard, and the term “slacker” has never been so overused. I myself have been guilty of said offense. Is the issue simply chronological? The music-making core of those aged 20-30 now would have grown up smack in the middle of the decade or at least remember it enough to be able to nostalgically channel it. Does it matter?
Unicycle Loves You doesn't seem to care much either way. They just seem to be having a damn good time doing what they're doing, which, while not being revolutionary, is certainly refreshing in today's deadly serious musical climate. The Chicago trio play a noisy brand of indie pop sure to please fans of the above bands, and countless others too. In other words, the band wears its “classic indie rock” tag proudly, yet their influences are surprisingly tough to pin down. And that's a good good thing.
On “Garbage Dump,” the opening track of their most recent album, Failure, the band wastes little time showcasing their sound. As delay warping and noise loops subside, out of the ether emerges their classic indie-rock attack; a catchy bassline bounces, fuzzed out guitars rip, and crisp, tambourine heavy drums seal it all together. The songs that fill out the rest of this collection, their third, are wonderful exercises in the arts of balance and moderation. The songs are noisy, but never go into the red. They're sugary, but never saccharine. They're well produced, yet never feel too slick.
Lead single “Sun Comes Out (And I Don't Care)” is a stellar example of this balance. The bass is fuzzy and loping, yet clear and rhythmic. The vocals are drenched in reverb and overdrive, yet cut through the mix and manage to be melodious. The guitar lines are simple and repetitive, yet never become boring or tiresome. This thought could be applied to Unicycle Loves You, and Failure in particular, as a whole. What they do may be pretty familiar, but I dare you not to have fun while listening. Go ahead. I triple-dog-dare ya.