The Speed of Things

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., unusually unmotorized for a Metro Detroit band, despite their name, seem ambivalent about getting their groove on. "You're supposed to surrender to the bass," they lackadaisically observe in "If You Didn't See Me (Then You Weren't on the Dancefloor)." "You're supposed to roll your hips in time." But they sound skeptical, and their Vampire Weekend Lite take on Afro-Caribbean rhythm throughout feels equally unsure. They tentatively attempt lounge-y jazz ("Dark Water") and falsetto disco ("War Zone"), but their real energy goes into harmonies so fussily layered and childlike that all their lonely yearning can't help but come off as precious.

From The Archives Issue 1194: October 24, 2013
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