On #Poundsign#'s sophomore effort, the San Francisco-based quartet continues their fresh blend of dreamy indie pop, a mix that has earned the band worldwide acclaim. Despite some of the bandmembers moving away from the Bay Area of California, the band was still able to coordinate the recording of their follow-up to 1998's Wavelength album, also on Fantastic Records. On Underneath the Marquee, the band has diversified their instrumental repertoire, adding organ, sitar, synthesizer, and piano to the mix. All members take turns singing, with bassist Jaime Knight singing his first lead on "S.L.C." Stephen Vesecky croons on the virtual title track, "Matinee Sunday," which includes a line which references the album's title. It's the disc-opener and was originally featured on a compilation on San Francisco's Paris Caramel Records. Vesecky sings on four of the album's songs, and they're all gems, especially "I Had a Nightmare (And You Were in It)" and "Coffee Flavoured Friend." He has a uniquely placid and calm vocal demeanor, singing over sweet pop instrumentation. Alicia Vanden Heuvel sings lead vocals on three tracks: the sublime "The Best Day," the orchestral "Piano Song," and the slow-motion sweetness of the song "Tears." Drummer Becky Barron chimes in on three songs as well, on the synthesizer-rich "Vitamin Dee" and on the disc's final two tracks, the melancholy "It's Easy" and the jangly and festive "Oh! Dolly." The songs were recorded in 2000 at Napoleon Valley Studios and were produced by the band with assistance from Wyatt Cusick of the Aislers Set.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer