With the greeting, “This is a sad sad song / For all the sad sad people,” Californian four-piece Ganglians open up their latest record, a lively push of indie-pop as accompaniment. It’s a brief cheery moment before the album dissolves into nonchalant falsetto and mid-tempo jams.
Still Living is a messy good time, a record with a few drinks in it. What’s surprising is that they can keep it up for a good 55 minutes. From the half-paced sway that dominates the album, bookended by slightly more upbeat tunes, it’s an extended indie flight that makes all the usual stops: the ever-so-slightly rough tracks smoothed over with reverb, vocals floating above, unconcerned with being perfectly in tune.
So then is there something that makes this record stand out? Not really. You can spin any lo-fi take on the Beach Boys and get the same thing out of it. But everything isn’t about breaking the fourth wall, and this stuff is far from pulp. Light synths, dirty guitar, gang vocals-it’s all here but for a reason. It’s a chill-out and a good time, without reason to get experimental. Just keep it simple, and enjoy the moment.