Mind Over Matter

It's been four years since these summery, bummery Californians dropped the power-pop bomb "My Body," earning fans from MTV to Morrissey. Their second album, and first for Fueled by Ramen, adopts the post-Spotify try-anything attitude of new labelmates Cobra Starship and Twenty One Pilots. When they nail the postmodern smash-up thing, it's explosive, inventive rock: "Anagram" sounds like Dirty Projectors headlining the Bamboozle Festival, and "It's About Time" marries Foo Fighter fuzz, Justin Timberlake croon, EDM sputter and spiraling high-life guitars. The flip side is tracks like the limp Tears for Fears rewrite "Camera."

From The Archives Issue 1204: March 13, 2014