It makes you wonder what bands like General Fiasco get up to when summer draws to a close for another year. Their sound - an inoffensive mix of rounded guitars and sparkling melody - is so firmly rooted in the joys of this particular season, it becomes hard to imagine listening to this second album, ‘Unfaithfully Yours’, during any other time of the year. When this formula works though, other bands of a similar ilk will do well to match their blend of dizzying elation over the next two months or so.
‘Waves’ and album opener ‘Gold Chains’ are intensely catchy slices of pop-punk, with guitars set to stun rather than kill in both cases, whilst there are genuine moments of surprise littered across the twelve tracks. The joyously thunderous ‘Bad Habits’ is like MGMT partying with Sleigh Bells, whilst the rock out nature of ‘Don’t You Ever’ show a band ditching those safe confines of conventionality and really stretching their musical craftsmanship.
Frustratingly, the band let themselves down with a small handful of uninspiring tracks that serve only to undermine the rest of the album. The meddling ‘Brother Is’ loses all the high-tempo momentum that came in the album’s opening third, whilst ‘Hollows’ is perhaps a low point at half distance, a band seemingly lacking direction and the spirit that propelled them in the early stages. Things however pick up with the riotous hook-laden pop of ‘The Age That You Start Losing Friends’ closely followed by the sombre balladry of ‘Sleep’.
It’s to their credit that despite being very conventional in so many ways, the majority of ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ is a thoroughly enjoyable listen. At full swing, tracks like ‘Don’t You Ever’ are brilliantly melodic pieces of indie pop that bristle with the recklessness of the silly season, yet the album’s uneven tone ultimately make this piece of work much harder to love as opposed to merely like.