Bottom of the Hill
November 17, 2006

Review by Jake Thomas

Irving is pop music – catchy songs with fine melodies played by handsome
young lads. I’ve listened to Irving for a while and enjoyed their records, but have never actually made it out to any of their shows. I might have gotten lazy in my old age but it was Friday night and what the hell, let’s go see some live music. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had this idea, as the club was packed when I got there, further proving how out of touch I am because I had no idea how popular these guys were. Especially with the kids apparently, judging from the crowd…we here at Playing in Fog may be nearing the age where you need a walker to get around, but it’s good to know we’re still on the same page listening-wise as the youth out there.

I’m honestly at a loss to describe what the band sounds like other than “indie pop” – they do such a fine job of blending their influences that they kinda have their own thing going on. If you bend your ear just right (or adjust your hearing aid), you can hear hints of mid-era Kinks; maybe a little of the Cars from all the keyboard work; and although I am sure not another soul will agree with me, there is something about the band that makes me think of the oft underappreciated Sunday’s Best, who always got lumped in with the emo crowd but actually wrote some great pop music. But what stood out the most at the gig was the way all of the band members harmonized together – everyone had a microphone and they knew what to do with it. And as dopey as it sounds, in this day of so many terrible singers, I really appreciate that, and it made for a most enjoyable Friday night activity in the city.