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Impossible Hair: What Is the Secret of Impossible Hair?

Impossible Hair: What Is the Secret of Impossible Hair?

Release Date:2009
Genre:Indie Rock

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By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/8/2009

At the very least, the Impossible Hair pedigree should get you in the door. Guitarist Jim Glass played with '90s Baltimore goof-pop breakout Buttsteak; Sammy Ponzar is the drummer for Washington Dischord outfit the Andalusians; and bassist Roman Kuebler, a former member of Spoon, the main fellow behind the Oranges Band, and who also records songs as Romania. That said, just about everything else about the band--rounded out by guitarist Joe Ryan--feels designed to get you in the door, too. The band's mostly sub-three minute songs, shimmying post-punk baselines, lethal hooks at every corner, soulful, immediate vocals, and enough oddball sensibility just about coats the band's whole debut in a wide, earnest grin, from song titles like "Tambourines Of Fury" to the closing/secret acoustic, presumably live cover of the Dean Martin/Ricky Nelson faux-Western "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me."

Sonically, the easiest touchstone for Impossible Hair is Guided By Voices' bright jangle, minus the tape-hiss and plus a meaty low-end. The stair-stepping bass line and flexing faux-lounge vocals of "Silver Amplifier" sound like they could have been excerpted from They Might Be Giants' Flood while album stand-out "X-Ray Man" has the brash urgency/efficiency of GBV's "Everywhere With Helicopter," and a potent if refined chorus to match. A few of these songs feel even more clear-cut homages to '90s "indie," like the comparatively by-the-books--though, again, adding thick rolling bass lines--"My Little Brother" and "Find It." They're outshined somewhat by "Sister Hand," a clever song that builds in its two-and-a-half minutes from poky drums and bass to an abrupt build-up to an extended chorus finish like the band's waking from a groove-induced daze with the perfect, smoothly harmonized resolution at the tip of its tongue.

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