Poison Control Center's second full-length, 2010’s Sad Sour Future, is the product of two years of long-distance song trading -- from 2008 to 2009, the band’s four members lived in four different cities, and they kept their creative chemistry alive by sending demos to each other. By the time the bandmembers reunited to put together their sophomore effort in the spring of 2009, they had 40-odd tracks to work with; the whittled-down result is still a veritable behemoth, 17 tracks in all. Similar to the band’s first album, Sad Sour Future often takes its cue from indie rock bands of the '80s and '90s that were of the jumpy, angular, and nerdy persuasion. The moody, horn-rimmed-glasses-wearing specter of the Feelies looms over tracks like "By the Wave" and "Cognac Dreams," and cartoony, fun-loving songs "Calling Card" and "Friends in the Band" take their cue as much from Stephen Malkmus as they do from They Might Be Giants. It’s also the kind of sound that brings to mind album-oriented rock-influenced contemporaries like Free Energy and NRBQ, especially on the disc’s lead single, "Being Gone" -- a big, happy song about growing up, moving away, and being sad (“It’s not so easy growing old today/Even though you’ve got it all planned out.../It’s not easy being gone") replete with goofy arena rock moves (i.e., a smooth sax solo and a whole lot of cowbell). From top to toe, there’s really little to complain about here -- Sad Sour Future is an ebullient, synth-laced, guitar-squealing romp that makes good on the promise of Poison Control Center's debut. If you’re in the mood for some ballsy, guitar-driven indie rock to round out your summer playlist, Sad Sour Future might be just what you’re after.
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AllMusic Review by Margaret Reges