NME.COM

Joyzipper : American Whip

…Or, Indie: A Brief Introduction...

In 2003, NYC boy-girl duos just weren't supposed to be like this. Forget smutty references to venereal disease. Forget one-take production. Instead 'American Whip' concerns itself with dark tales of dementia, drugs, love and death, wrapped in ghostly waltzes and Brian Wilson harmonies. Joy Zipper's second album leads us through indie's classic staples - effects pedals (particularly the Bloody Valentine-esque 'Baby, You Should Know'), left-field lyrics and pocket-symphonies - to create something equal parts joyful, witty and heartbreaking. The centrepiece, however, is 'Ron' - an ode to getting old and boring, it hinges on Bacharach-saccharine and lyrical bite, and NME dares you not to adore it. If the label '2003's Polyphonic Spree' is a little off-target (just how often do 25 cassocked loonies appear every year?) then 'First Great Underground Record Of 2003' fits like a glove.
9 / 10

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