With their third album, Fitz and The Tantrums continue to push into the realm of purer pop. Our Samantha Lopez reviews.
When Summer Cannibals released No Makeup back in 2013, the music world ate it up, while salivating at the prospect of the group’s shooting star trajectory. It appears that wait has not been in vain. Show Us Your Mind, the group’s sophomore album out in March, comes at you like an undimming supernova. Full of fuzzy power and the swagger that comes from embracing their punkish roots, Show Us Your Mind is pure, passionate energy.
Jessica Boudreaux is the catalyst at the center of the explosion. On No Makeup, she hinted at the chops she’d developed, and on Show Us Your Mind, her talent is on full display. In the band’s video for “Something New,” she scowls and crashes her way through tattoo sessions, bar ragers, and haircuts, only pausing to unleash hell on a buttoned-down coffee shop and a knife-wielding attacker. She sings, with dripping scorn, “I’ve been looking for something new, to keep my hands busy while I get over you.” Point is, she can do whatever the fuck she wants, and whoever this chump is, she’s moved on in the most badass ways possible.
Boudreaux’s vocals fuel Show Us Your Mind–she alternates between throaty demand on title track “Show Us Your Mind” and deceptively sweet notes on mellower tracks like “TV” and “That Feeling.” She grabs the guitar and roars through “Don’t Make Me Beg” like an unabashed power punk-rocker. Matching Boudreaux’s vocals, though, is the stellar work of Marc Swart, and past members Valerie Brogden and Lynnae Gryffin. Swart, on guitar, unfurls powerful riffs while demonstrating a masterful understanding of when to rip out and take over, and when to pull back and add layers. The rhythm section for this record–Valerie Brogden on drums and Lynnae Gryffin on bass–is strong and insistent. Gryffin’s bass lines fly around with furious confidence, and Brogden picks her spots aptly, providing the depth, and ultimately, the engine that gives Show Us Your Mind the aggressive punch on display from start to finish.
For however hard Summer Cannibals can rock, they also have a taste for subtlety. As boisterous as album opener “All It Takes” is, “TV,” the closing track, is the opposite–a subdued, grungy ballad. Boudreaux proves equally at home in the open spaces of “TV” as she does the claustrophobic rippers earlier on the album, and the instrumentals dig deep to match the heft and quiet intensity.
Show Us Your Mind picks up where No Makeup left off–a clear indication of the group’s growth and realization of its unending potential. It’s Northwest grunge rock at its best. »
– Charles Trowbridge
Summer Cannibals celebrate the release of Show Us Your Mind March 5 @ Bunk Bar