Games make a specific brand of starry-eyed power pop full of young people searching for kicks and living for tonight. Evoking catchy tunesmiths like the Raspberries and Big Star, as well as modern-day hook mavens like The Busy Signals and Gentleman Jesse (Games features former members of each of the latter, in fact), their debut album is delightfully shameless and eminently enjoyable.
Tracks like “It’s Just Impossible” and “Why Can’t We Go Back” are amped-up ravers, as regretful of the past as they are reveling in their present. The aptly-titled first track “Listen” pairs lyrics about lemonade and cotton candy over crunchy guitars. The delusions-of-grandeur storyline of “You Want it All” is given an unselfconscious swing that matches its overly self-confident subject. A thrilling and consistent batch of two-to-three-minute garage exultations, Games takes only a single break during its crisp, 26-minute run time, and that’s for token slow jam and penultimate foot-dragger, “When the Time.” Luckily, “Take a Dare” sweeps in to save the day. “Why don’t we end it all in a fiery crash?” frontman Jeremy Thompson suggests. But this music is too finely polished for that.