Sometimes you just need a catchy tune that is free of pretense. That’s the vibe I was feeling with Ball Bearing by PB Atom. The songs in mood and style are somewhere between Vampire Weekend and The Shins. It’s a bit like ear candy although unlike actual candy it's good for you and doesn't make you feel guilty after consuming it.
The band opens with “Anxiety Daydream” which is more or less perfect power pop. I loved the energy of the music which is fun, upbeat and might give you an extra boost of adrenaline. The lead vocals match the music. His vocal delivery is exciting and he seemed genuinely exuberant and full of life. Great opener.
“Befores and Afters” was equally as fantastic as the opener. The song mixes pads with acoustic guitar with some impressive tom work on the drums. Perhaps my favorite aspect was that the song has zero fat. It’s just under two-and-a-half minutes and still felt fully realized. In fact, I can say the same exact thing about the remaining songs.
“Imagining the Sky Over Olecko” which is even shorter but still is a great song revolving around jangly guitars, what sounds like harmonica and an impressive rhythm section. You might think “Isolated” might be the more melancholy track but no; they evoke the spirit of The Velvet Underground on this song mixed with a bit of A. C. Newman. “Philadelphia” was some ’70s psychedelia that’s mixed in with the power pop while “Too Dark to See” contains power pop mixed with a little more garage rock a la The Strokes. And the chorus on “Too Dark to See” is undeniably infectious.
I thought this was a great EP. It’s unequivocally repeat worthy and just a blast to listen to. Rock on.
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