Modern Furniture is a collective lineup from New Jersey that seems to be mostly the work of Michael Tullo. Year of the Lobster is a lo-fi album recorded in their practice space which sounds exactly like the description.
The band sounds through and through like a quintessential indie rock band. Tullo is a vocalist who sounds like a young guy whose style works for this genre. It would have a hard time fitting in with anything besides indie rock in line with bands like Parquet Courts or early Pavement.
The album opens with “Heroine” which is a slow burner until after the one-minute-mark. Right away the band could have comparisons to a copious amount of indie rock bands. The vocal melody is pretty catchy and actually one of the best delivered on the album.
As the album progresses a number of the songs sound like standard indie rock songs with not quite enough unique factors to really make the songs sound identifiable with the band. Take for instance “The 9s” which is a fairly well-written song but also familiar sounding. Sometimes the delivery and songwriting is strong enough to really stand out like on the “Wake Up” which is a highlight on the album.
The band might be their best on “Dopplegänger” which has a bit of prog rock and also brings to mind a band like Bloc Party. I thought the opening riff was pretty tasty. They rock out pretty hard. As the album progresses “Small Funny” is a clear highlight. The vocal harmonies are catchy and really work here. Simply a good melody. “Superhero Pt.2” and “Young Gold” also stuck out to me.
As far as advice goes I think Tullo is decent singer that with some practice could get to the next level. I noticed times where he is flat or sharp or where the transition to the next note could be a little more smooth. The other thing I would like to see is for them to carve out a little more of a signature sound. As I mentioned they have talent but their style could easily be lost amongst the thousands upon thousands of indie rock bands playing in basements and garages.
I’d say this is a solid album overall with a couple of really good songs. I also think that if the band sticks to bettering themselves and evolves that they could take it to the next level.
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