A Great Big Pile Of Leaves - You're Always On My Mind (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Great Big Pile Of Leaves

You're Always On My Mind (2013)

Topshelf Records

Neck deep into summer and this record rolls across, fitting given the time of year. Touching on bases from pop-punk, indie and simple, catchy rock, A Great Big Pile of Leaves offer an ideally laid-back, mellow and typical summer record for cruising with the top down. You're Always On My Mind isn't anything intricate but it sure as hell makes for a chill listen full of poppy adventures.

If you're a fan of hellogoodbye, Rooney or Best Coast, and up for beach cruising and soaking in the summer's rays, opener "Snack Attack" sums up what's on tap here. Boatloads of catchy quotes and neat little anthemic moments to kick back. It's a bit hippy in essence but takes neat little twists and turns here and there. "Pet Mouse" dabbles drastically in an Interpol-esque vibe that shows a bit of variety in the band's game.

As expected, AGBPOL would be remiss not to mention summer blues in the aptly-titled "Back To School." Their sound, however, is a stark contrast to the vocal delivery of Pete Weiland. He's so calm and relaxed in his delivery, high reminiscent of Jake Snider of Minus The Bear or the Dismemberment Plan's Travis Morrison, but it's the straightforward simple musical structure that adds most of the dimensions to the album. It's a nonchalantly poppy sound that works well, especially with Tyler Soucy's drums anchoring everything. You wouldn't expect that polarized separation between vocalist and band, but it's apparent, and somehow manages to click. Weiland may come off too relaxed at times but it fits perfectly into AGBPOL's puzzle.

To sum up their musical ambience, it's cliched, but 'fun' seems to hit the spot. "Fun in the Sun" pretty much summarizes why. Some tracks settle better than others but the fact that most tracks don't sound like repetitive iterations of the other surprised me a lot. I'd like to see them break out of this shell now, let loose a little more, and see what they come up with then.