Homespun: Last Night's Vice

Perfect Little Noise(self-released)

Aug 25, 2010 at 4:00 am

The high-energy, high-gloss rock & roll of Last Night's Vice's second album is a fitting soundtrack for a Saturday night spent on the sticky floors of a dance club. It's also good fodder for a Sunday morning comedown. As the band's name suggests, Last Night's Vice delights in detailing our Dionysian impulses — and the ensuing fallout. Perfect Little Noise matches dance-rock drumbeats and heavily processed guitars with Brandon House's cheerleader vocals and increasingly self-aware lyrics. The music may be a pure caffeine rush, but certain songs find their protagonists fumbling toward maturity.

Opener "Lock & Key" starts the party with a little glammy funk and strutting swagger, as plenty of busy hi-hat patterns and wah-wah guitar set the tone. It's one of several songs on Noise that's catchy in spite of itself, by trotting out every arena-rock trick: bombastic vocals, sped-up disco rhythms and hair-metal guitar runs. It's far from a perfect formula: "Crazy" begins like a bad Jane's Addiction impression and manages to dumb it down further with some lazy AutoTuned vocals and unrestrained drum breaks. "All I" is as close as the band gets to a ballad: The music is still as clattering and overstuffed as the rest of the disc, but House tempers his vocals with enough emotive empathy to sell the feeling.