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Arlo | Up High In The Night (Sub Pop)
If there's one thing Los Angeles is good for it's that 'pop' sound, that innate melody and hook that LA bands seem to have naturally. Arlo are no exception, they have it by the bucketload, skipping along merrily as if casting flowers as they go. From the opening Forgotten, with its Ultravox reminiscent verse, to the closing, Botched and its Nirvana undertones, the album sounds as if it was recorded under a bright, sunny sky. Taking in a bewildering amount of influences along the way, although leaning heavily towards American new wave and power-pop, the four piece rattle through this debut. They're aided by friend Ben Vaughn at the helm of the mix to provide a vibrant alternative to the Travis-esque stylings that predominate most current UK bands. It steers eerily close to the Cars at times, or maybe Cheap Trick in places, but it doesn't diminish the bounce it puts in your step, or the jaunt in your stride. It doesn't pretend to be deep, it's fun and what's wrong with that in this day and age? Press play and go out to.

Laurence Arnold
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001