As Best as We Can

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Who needs a bass guitar when you've got a tuba? SNMNMNM sure don't need one, and they integrate a tuba (and trumpet and accordion) into their happy indie rock without the slightest difficulty. A little bit They Might Be Giants, a little bit Of Montreal, SNMNMNM (the name stems from the members' first initials) are persistently upbeat, so much so that the song titles even end with an exclamation point. The uncommon instrumentation may be what sets the band apart, but their songwriting isn't too shabby. On As Best as We Can, the quartet comes up with one beaming tune after another, punctuated with sweet harmonies and jangly guitar. Among the winners here: "The Ski Team!," the disco-funked "Disco Barry!," and the bouncy "My Defense!." Even when they're lamenting about a relationship in "Right Hand Man!," SNMNMNM are excited about what they're doing and it translates to this recording wonderfully.

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