Literature - Arab Spring [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Arab Spring [12-inch] (2012)

Square of Opposition / Austin

There's something so effortlessly iconic about listening to Literature's debut record, Arab Spring. There's the elegant, simple cover. The one word band name that screams "smart indie rock band." The title that recalls the Cure's "Killing an Arab" and Arab Strap. And of course, it helps that the tunes combine Buzzcocks' power pop punk with the indie pop leanings of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Camera Obscura and the Changes.

At just 10 songs, Arab Spring doesn't waste any time trotting out one hooky, semi-moody hit after another. "14 Seconds" kicks off the record right, and from there it never lets up. Actually, you could just as easily start with side two's first cut, "Grifted," as the LP could be played as a continuously catchy loop, aside from the slow country pseudo-song "I'm Right Here." That one kind of comes out of nowhere and ends before it even registers.

Granted, the band kind of cherrypicks from its favorite artists from the last 40 years (Perhaps too much on "Push-Up Bra," a song that I really loved until I realized it apes the chorus from Buzzcock's "Everybody's Happy Nowadays"). Literature definitely trots out its record collection here.

But it's a really good record collection, and there's no denying the alternately ambient and danceable moments that dominate Arab Spring. It's a record that'll sound great soundtracking parties, but also those 2 a.m. nights by yourself. Literature really delivered here, as the band's debut is endlessly listenable, thoroughly jangle-y and just downright good. Tunes this insistent cannot be denied.