Indie Head With Rock Heart
Keeping the essence of indie rock alive and very much kicking Philadelphia's Quips effortlessly radiate the cool factor as they unleash jangly indie rock in all its laid back carefree splendour. Following up on their 2005 debut 'Amphetamines', 'Take Two' sees the quartet seamlessly embracing every genre from the last forty years and unveiling it for all to enjoying – its as if they've hoarded the best and saved it for the perfect time to break their time capsule. From the breezy indie rock of the 60s, through garage rock and grunge the Quips grab influences from all and whilst it may not work for the whole album, when things do go right it is almost breathtaking.
At 32 minutes 'Take Two' is somewhat of a short affair that seems to get off to an almost laborious start. Laced with life pondering lyrics draped around sedately mellow beats album opener 'Calm Me Down' does exactly what its title suggests and although at times this would be wonderful, its doesn't exactly kick start the album and unleash the Quips in all the gritty rock glory.
Ultimately it is left to 'Coming Home' for the rock vigour of the band to rear its head as a gentle indie jangle combines with rock gusto in just the right measure to let you know that the album is actually underway. And when the Quips do get going things do heat up. Although moving to a laidback beat with riffs adding a touch of rock sleaze, 'Lady Powerline' manages to radiate coolness in a similar vein to Kings Of Leon, even managing at times to reach a newer plain of cool that would make the Fonz look like a geek. Like wise 'When Are We Going Home?' unmasks a rock beast with a hook ridden filthy bass line akin to Queens Of The Stoneage's 'No One Knows' pounds the track into life before a drum led chorus similar to QOTSA 'Go With The Flow' adds more heat to the fire. Lively, dirty and thumping with rock sleaze, 'Take Two' undoubtedly harbours a rock soul that seems happy to combine with an indie core to make for some great tracks, its just a shame there aren't more.
As 'Takes Two' evolves there are times when songs start to sound too similar to the one that preceded it, a point where the softly raw vocals croak a little too much but then 'Me And My' comes along to close the album and once more you fall in love with the Philly four. With more good points outweighing the bad the Quips second offering finds them still slightly searching for their way but they are defiantly heading in the right direction. With a mind dedicated to the indie mentality and a heart pumping to a rock beat, the Quips are a band that can deliver it all and do so with a trend setting air of cool letting you kick back and relax before deliver the fatal thumping bass line.