Get ready for another faux pas: "The Easy Way Back," my fave track on the album, is downright Beatlesque. It occurs to me, as I listen, that The Way Things Were is an apt title, not only because it conjures the sounds of the sixties but also because it acknowledges its own nostalgia.
Much as the Ultrasounds encourage virtual time travel, I'm reminded of the great cultural critic Fredric Jameson's injunction to "Always historicize!" To put these musicians where they belong in the twenty-first century perhaps it would be more accurate to say they're British-Invasion-meets-early-aught-years-indie-pop: think an edgier version of the Strokes, or the Libertines' first album. The aesthetic may be old, but it's still hip, man and totally cravable.
The Ultrasounds are at the Club Above on Saturday, August 2, and at TC's Speakeasy on Saturday, August 30.
[Review published August 2008]