The Shout Out Louds 

Our Ill Wills (Merge)

As you might expect from a band responsible for an aching adolescent apologia called ‘Your Parents’ Living Room’, the Shout Out Louds specialize in three-and-a-half-minute trips to closing-credits heaven. I’d like to believe that the reason singer Adam Olenius sounds like a more congested Robert Smith is that he (like the rest of the band) is from Sweden, and learned English from imported Cure LPs. Hearts are on sleeves throughout, with auxiliary percussion, pianos, strings and ethereal female backup vocals never far from a crescendo tastefully muted by the reverb-y production: these are, as the man once said, teenage symphonies to god, and the cumulative effect of the reaching melodies, the New Wave-hearkening stylings, and, especially, the pervasive romanticism, is a kind of nostalgic revelry. Never more so than on the unsurpassed (and damn near unsurpassable) lead-off track ‘Tonight I Have to Leave It’, a last gasp of drum-rolling, urgent strumming, and double-time orchestral manoeuvers that’s the pop music equivalent of taking up an entire page signing the high school yearbook of the girl you never had the guts to ask out. 

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