Underhanded Romance is the lastest release by Scissors for Lefty, who have parted with Rough Trade records and have signed to a truly independent label, eenie meenie records. The band consists of two families united: The Garzas (two brothers and an uncle) handle the vocals, guitars, and bass, while the Krimmel brothers mostly hit the piano and drums. I can’t say that I’ve never heard anything like this, but I can say I’m absolutely loving it. It’s party music, kinda retro and kinda postpunk, and you can hear how much fun their having — it all ends comes out in the music. As soon as I spun it once, I had to hit repeat.
Some may find Scissors a little derivative: I hear a little bit of The Killers in Save it Cory. And Nickels and Dimes begins with a very Bill Idol-like
riff, immediately recalling White Wedding, but the rest of the song is a shout-along working-for-the-weekend romp (“Hey hey! Nickels and dimes are all you need to rock tonight!”) The Kinks lurk under Wandering Arms, along perhaps with Spoon, and then out of nowhere The Byrds pop out during the guitar break.
And there’s elements of Franz Ferdinand in Marsha.
In fact, the oldie-sound on Marsha makes me think–either ironically or intentionally–of Marcia Brady. And throughout, youï¿½ll find the spirit of Pulp, Blur and other 90s Britpop, as well as Bloc Party. Although the entire album doesn’t overwhelm me like some of the records by the bands mentioned in this paragraph, I’d say that more than half of the record is at least as good as many singles those bands have produced. If you like the bands I’ve mentioned
here, I bet you’ll like Scissors for Lefty. You might even love them.
And I don’t want to overstate the familiarity in the music because there’s definitely a unique voice here as well — the songs are extremely tight and well-crafted, the band is crisp, and the vocals have both range and force (not a common find in the indie rock world). The gloss over all of it is likely due to the producer–the band employed Charles (Dust Brothers, Beck, and Santana) Goodan–who makes the whole thing sound extremely clear and clean, and mixed by Mark (Killers, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak) Needham. I’m not mentioning this as a critique, it’s more of an observation that I bet they’re a fairly different band live. The same is true of the Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party, both of whom have made great records and
put on great shows as well. In short, Scissors for Lefty gets a hearty recommendation from me. Check ’em out.