Nerd pop

In this day and age of sensitive-male indie-rock, it’s easy for bands to get automatically lumped into an inevitable “Get Up Kids/Promise Ring” comparison. This is thanks in part to the overabundance of coattail riders who are trying to achieve scenester status by means of blatantly ripping off the aforementioned. At the same time, there are a number of acts such as Sunday’s Best which deserve the credit of writing some of the catchiest pop moments that will be tragically thrown aside by jaded music critics as another one of “those bands.”

Poised to Break does have its carbon-copy moments: The clear, high vocals, crisp and poppy guitar licks, occasional synthesizer backings and sensitive-male lyrics could easily pigeonhole Sunday’s Best as an indie-nerd stereotype (much like their abovementioned predecessors).

However, the sing-along numbers of “Bruise-Blue,” “Indian Summer” and the opening track, “The Hardest Part,” could forgive any sins of obvious comparisons. Besides, Sunday’s Best deserves a pat on the back for breathing some fresh air into a genre that been practically bled dry.

While not nearly as sophisticated and complex as its Polyvinyl labelmates (Braid, Hey Mercedes, Rainer Maria and Pele), the band has created a straightforward pop record of bouncy ballads — and lighthearted riffs can be just as enjoyable no matter who their apparent influences are.

E-mail Mike DaRonco at [email protected].

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