SHOUT OUT LOUDS
You can always count on Sweden to export confusingly named furniture, terrifying metal bands and adorable indie-pop musicians who churn out effin’ great choruses like it’s as simple as breathing. Stockholm quintet Shout Out Louds fall into the latter camp and their fourth studio album boasts at least three standout singles (“Walking In Your Footsteps”, “Illusions” and “14 Of July”). But the trouble with Optica is how much it will remind you of other records in your collection. The delay, chorus and flanger-flecked guitar tones used liberally here were all over the last two albums by French shoegaze artist M83. And by now, the dance floor drumming paired with surging synth lines are well-worn. (New Order and Tears for Fears were plying their electro anthems back when the Shouties and their peers were still in kindergarten, so this sound has been with us a helluva long time.)
No one would argue that the Shout Out Louds aren’t a fun or capable band, but there’s nothing here that’s particularly novel or surprising.