Box Elders opened their account last year with the splendid Hole In My Head single which suggested that their claim of the band being named after the insect rather than the Pavement song was a little disingenuous. Their debut album Alice and Friends, however, is a rough, ready and ramshackle affair in which almost every song triumphantly stops dead from exhaustion after about two minutes.
Whereas much of the US pop underground in the past few years seems to have been paying tribute to The Clean, Box Elders’ washes of psych organ coupled with reckless garage rock and jangly bedroom pop sound like they’re worshipping at the altar of another Flying Nun classic band, The Chills.
They could equally be, like The Chills once were, in thrall to the old Nuggets compilations. The overly slapdash execution of a couple of wayward numbers hints at a youthful exuberance just itching to hit the finishing line before attacking another song, but ultimately this joie de vivre is entirely compulsive and addictive.