Following the release of debut EP Virginity, a tour of their native Australia with the Vines, and sharing the stage elsewhere around the globe with the likes of Black Lips and Toro y Moi, young rockers Bleeding Knees Club return with their first full-length and major-label release, Nothing to Do. As the band name suggests the pitfalls of skateboarding, roughhousing, and, ahem, indoor sports, the record follows suit in offering a rapid-fire collection of songs about chasing girls, making mischief, and naturally, being bored. With drummer/singer Alex Wall and guitarist Jordan Malane just early twentysomethings, Nothing to Do imparts all the spirit and energy of being a teen, served up in under-three minute bursts (minus one track), guaranteed to keep even the most attention-challenged listener engaged. The Club mine the history of teen angst in music, from surf rock ("Girls Can Do Anything") to punk ("Boy in Lust") to the Brill Building ("Lipstick"), joined in the studio with producer Dev Hynes (Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion), who abstains from his normal bells and whistles, instead embracing the duo's lo-fi, no-frills aesthetics and allowing their raw qualities to shine. The bouncing, beatific anthem to young babes "Teenage Girls," originally on Virginity, is revisited here, given just enough polish to elevate it beyond the demo-like quality of the earlier version and highlight the irresistible oohing and aahing background vocals -- but there are plenty of new classics: the blitzing "Problem Child" pays tribute to the loser who hasn't grown beyond starting fires and smashing glass bottles ("He'll throw rocks at your car/He's always drunk in the park"); the Shangri-Las-meets-Strange Boys soda shop crooner "Lipstick," replete with a spoken word intro, jingling guitar, and lyrics about hanging out on the bleachers with a sweetheart; and "Brainwaves," a snotty, Wavves-like number about feeling crummy but still trying to go out and party. Nothing to Do is admittedly pretty one note in sound and subject matter, but the boys deliver it with so much enthusiasm and so many hooks, it's hard to care. Crank it up at your next lazy hangout, trip to the beach, or drive to a makeout spot -- or just by yourself, and be transported to any of those locales.
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AllMusic Review by Chrysta Cherrie