Struggling in an everyday-life soap opera, this self-professed "odd little band" has been in constant personnel flux from conception, but does still retain the core nucleus of Melissa Fairmount (organ), Dana Hamblen (drums), and Jane McBrain (guitar) on Tender Trap. Continuing to blend off-centered harmonies with womanly punk-pop angst, Fairmount Girls' sophomore effort builds nicely on Eleven Minutes to Anywhere's blueprint. Delivering catty vocals and Cars-like hooks, "Something Bad's Gonna Happen" tastes quirky yet ominous, while the cryptic "Skincare Secrets" is pillowed by euphoric feedback and lounge pop organ fills. Lyrically speaking, "She Got Vertigo (So Deal Me In)," "Worse Days Than This," and "Life With a View" display aching desires tufted by reality's inevitability. Completing Tender Trap's artful theme, shabby-chic album inserts exude an awkward kitsch appeal for this small-town indie rock act facing a difficult battle breaking out among established contemporaries.
Review by Craig Curtice