Thigh Master

Now for Example

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The Australian group Thigh Master have a perfectly cheeky name and a sometime off-kilter lyrical outlook, but they aren't a joke band. Unless you find spiky, jangly guitar pop in the vein of classic Flying Nun mixed with some (very) early Yo La Tengo and in the general ballpark of more modern bands like UV Race and Twerps to be particularly funny. Their second record, Now for Example, follows a few years after their promising debut, Early Times, and it sounds like maybe the band got a little looser, a little weirder, and fuzzy around the edges, though the songs are just as hooky and fun. Singer/songwriter Matthew Ford proves adept at crafting memorable little tunes and the words he sings detail modern everyday life in fine slackerly fashion. The crack band do a fine job bringing the sounds to life and giving them a vital zap of energy just before the tapes start rolling. The upbeat songs like "Entity" and "Mould Lines" fair jump out of the speaker with nervous energy, the classic indie rockers with tangled guitar play and shouted vocals come across like a less drastic Parquet Courts, and the couple of slower tracks show the band doesn't have to be itchy and twitchy to score points. One of them, "Claps for Clats," is a highlight; "Porto's Lullaby," which sounds almost exactly like a lost Clean classic, is another. Really, though, the entire album is a highlight reel for anyone looking to recapture the lo-fi, high pop IQ glory days of Flying Nun or anyone trying to keep up with the ever-growing wave of great guitar pop bands from Australia. Laugh at the name once to clear it out of your system, then focus on the energetic jangle, the joyous clang, and the glorious pop that the band lay down on Now for Example.

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