Bishop Allen, ‘Grrr…’ (Dead Oceans)
Consider Bishop Allen the safety school to Vampire Weekend’s Ivy League reach. The third Kinks-y compendium of post-adolescent dithering by this whip-smart Brooklyn band is as melodically clever and musically detailed as ever (big-up to the marimba player). But aside from the nicely scuffed “Dirt on Your New Shoes,” a general lack of spark or lyrical acuity makes even the album’s catchiest songs of predestination (“The Ancient Commonsense of Things”), passive-aggression (“Don’t Hide Away”), and whimsy (“Cue the Elephants”) register as little more than charming diversions.
Listen: Bishop Allen, “The Ancient Commonsense of Things” (DOWNLOAD MP3)