Joy Zipper's second album American Whip is as sun-kissed and blissful as their first. Which is to say very much so. Sort of like a sunny take on the Jesus and Mary Chain circa Darklands, the band works the same straightforward noise-dipped-in-honey-approach as the JAMC. Only instead of Jim and William Reid's sneers, we get Vincent Cafiso and Tabitha Tindale's sweet as sugar vocals and harmonies. The catch is that the candy is a cover for the dark and gloomy subject matter of the lyrics. You may never hear bubblier songs about drug use, dying, Alzheimer's, feeling like a mannequin and madness. Whether this is a good thing depends on how you like your lyrics. Some may find the content a bit jarring. If you can hack it, though, this is a solid indie pop record. No surprises to be had but plenty of melody, harmony and hooks. Plenty of happy-when-it-pains tracks like "Christmas Song," "Ron" and "Valley Stream" to hum as you contemplate the dark underbelly of life. Perfect for a really creepy summer day.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra