Written by: Eric Thompson
The days get longer. Twilight stands lazily, stretches, and its fingers graze the eight o’clock hour. Temperatures build their reserves for next month’s takeover of the upper reaches of the thermometer. Still some traveling to do, yes, but summer approaches from the south. And this year it sends a harbinger, an EP that hints at those long evenings on the patio, the cookouts and Coronas, the trips down the river. This year summer has an emissary: Modern Accent by Little Racer.
The only complaint I can manage to summon about this murky little record is that it’s only an EP. Much like the lengthening-but-not-lengthy April afternoons, I just want more. With only a handful of singles, and the six-song, twenty-four minute Modern Accent to their credit since the Brooklyn band’s inception in 2010, the same could be said for Little Racer. Prolific, no. But if this is indeed a harbinger of things to come, watch out for these dudes. Modern Accent is a carelessly pretty ride down the coast.
From the very outset, I can just hear this record drifting out of an upstairs apartment on a summer evening as I pass by on the street. The bass lines hearken back to Joy Division. The ethereal guitar melodies, however, along with Elliot Michaud’s somewhat distorted nasal crooning and occasional falsetto call forth images of muscle beaches and surf boards. Whether it’s the frustrated tension of “Vanessa” (“I can’t stand up / I can’t stand still / You got me acting out against my will”) or the hopeful jubilation of “Dancing,” there’s a lazy day aesthetic at work. Even on the brooding “Punk Life” (“I been drinking gin / It makes me want to start fights”) we get those sweeping guitar strokes, albeit with more distortion and some dissonance thrown in.
In the end, Modern Accent is like your memories of those afternoons in high school spent with that person you never even hooked up with but always thought you would marry: fleeting and hazy but somehow perfect.