Bay Area pop-psych revivalists the Parties have gone through some membership changes since their fine 2008 debut album, Can't Come Down, but they're still capable of writing and playing jangle pop with a full complement of sparkle, and their second full-length, 2010's Coast Garde, should please anyone who longs for the days when bowl-cut haircuts and Rickenbacker guitars were the order of the day. New guitarist Adam Symonds brings a less aggressive tone to these sessions, and the paisley underground and power pop influences that bubbled up though the spaces on Can't Come Down have faded from view, but the new edition of the Parties -- still led by guitarist and vocalist Jeremy Powers, with Symonds on guitar, Rex Padayhag on bass and keyboards, and Rob Uytingco on drums -- sounds as tight and confident as ever, and the songwriting is long on melodies and tightly interwoven guitar lines as well as snappy, propulsive rhythms. The Parties manage to do this without sounding as if they're ripping off the Byrds at every turn, which is no small accomplishment given their obsessions, and though this band's approach feels less diverse than it did on their earlier work, their command of their craft is better than ever and the songs, the performances, and the production should please garage rock fans with a jones for vintage folk-rock and jangle pop. Coast Garde finds the Parties narrowing their focus, but they hone in on what they do with a commendable accuracy, and the finished product is breezy and refreshing retro-pop.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming