(Two Syllable Records)
I’m a pretty old dude, so when a new album reminds me of music from my childhood, that means it’s going back a long way. Though the new self-titled album from Distractions, a Chicago-based band, has a sound reminiscent of 1960’s pop music, drawing from the Merseybeat/Wall of Sound/surf era with a little bit of psychedelic, you shouldn’t get the impression this is an oldies band. They do not simply rehash or meld the various genres together.
Oddly, distracting minimal lyrics on cuts like “Money is Ugly” (“Whatever happened to throwing all your coins in the fountain?”) and the haunting, dream-like quality of Tom Owens’ voice give the band a unique, subtle resonance that sets them apart from the past and current music eras.
With their aptly named band, they have a distracting sound with the qualities of a dream that you cannot shake, even after you wake up. The best cuts are “Money is Ugly,” “Please Slow Down,” and “We Were Better Off in the Rain,” with it mesmerizing repetition of the lyric, “Weather’s something that you cannot change,” which sounds like a dream one can’t quite remember.
Distractions have taken from the best of the early 1960’s sounds and given us their contemporary version of the era. So take a trip back to the music your father (or grandfather) grew up with. Go get Distractions and pretend you’re as cool as they are.