steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Lolls

"Come On" CD

Extra Small Records

Genres: indie rock, punk-pop

Extra Small
245 Hyde St.
San Francisco CA

Feb 23 - 29 2004

The last release of The Lolls' I had heard was a 7" single featuring a couple of short, carefree punk-pop/indie rock numbers. Come On is their new debut album, and in true Lolls tradition it provides a selection of guitar-charged, simple indie rock tunes that are sure to please fans of catchy, sometimes lo-fi rock music.

As expected, Come On sees the duo (Gail Conway and Jordan Rode) keeping their songs enjoyably brief. None of these ten songs exceed the four minute mark. "Exit" is a fine example - at one minute, thirty-nine seconds long, it is Come On's briefest song - but its best aspect is its riot-grrl attitude and edgy, almost grungy melody.  Comparisons to Slint and The Pixies can certainly be drawn. Other songs survive on well-placed chord changes and memorable choruses - it's almost amazing how easily The Lolls put together their incredibly infectious pop tunes - every subtle nuance of every song is assembled thoughtfully to make the end product as carelessly precise (is that an oxymoron?) as possible. "Girlfriend" and "When I Think of You," both of which appeared on the band's previous seven-incher, are two of the highlights on this disc; the former is an endlessly catchy indie rock tune, while the latter is an unusually-structured pop romp. "Wrecked" is also quite enjoyable, and somewhat complex given this disc's general formula.

The Lolls' Come On is an essential artifact of the thriving underground indie rock scene. Though many songs like these usually end up as live fare only, it's always a pleasure when somebody decides to sit down and record a few. In the future, CDs will be like vinyl is now, and tunes like these will make their own Nuggets-style compilation.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]