Games, Games

Austin L. Ray

By Austin L. Ray

on 12.17.12 in Reviews

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.

A thrilling and consistent batch of two-to-three-minute garage exultations

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.