I bought this record last week, and I've had it on constant rotation ever since, and I simply cannot shut up about it. I've been raving about it to everybody I know, and I think everybody I know is getting sick of me talking about Irving. Too bad for them, though, because I'm not ceasing and desisting about hyping up this five-piece from California, as I Hope You're Feeling Better is more addictive than NyQuil and more pleasurable than a romantic weekend in the woods. Seriously, though, the twenty minutes you'll spend with this little record are not wasted, simply because Irving doesn't waste a single minute.
Starting off with the epic "The Curious Thing About Leather"--which starts off with the tinkle of windchimes, then turns into a jangle-pop ditty, and then ends with twom minutes of a joyous choir singing "ba-ba-ba's" over some of the sunniest horns you've ever heard. They've easily and deftly out-spreed the Polyphonic Spree, and they did it in exactly two minutes. When they hit that groove at the end of the song, I can't sit still; I find myself dancing around the room, waving my hands up in the air. I can't sit still, and those last two minutes give me the warmest feeling inside, and when the song (sadly) ends, I'm left with a big fat smile on my face.
What makes this record better is that it's not just another baroque-pop affair--far from it! Indeed, their sound is a weird mixture of Grandaddy/Polyphonic Spree/Byrds/Turtles/New Order/Boyracer. Think I'm being lazy and/or too generous with the comparisons? HECK NO! You really, really have to hear this to appreciate it. They have the jingle-jangle harmony sound that's pure Roger McGuinn (listen closely to "White Hot"), a beat and rhythm that's totally Peter Hook on "The Guns From Here." Though the Boyracer may seem a bit of a stretch, but the fact is that "I Can't Fall in Love" and "Please Give Me your Heart, Is all I need" are boyracerfare, if ever you've heard it. They even do a duet with KaitO's Niki Colk, and it all sounds real good.
Really, though, how could I Hope You're Feeling Better Now be anything less than an utter treat? Everything is just right, everything is totally perfect, and the sound will win you over from listen numero uno. It's hooked me immediatly, and Irving is definitely a band that's worth keeping an eye on for 2004. I wonder where they will go from here--but I don't really worry about it too much, simply because I have faith that their next album will be a total, utter killer.
If you're gonna give the gift of music this year, DO YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES A FAVOR AND GIVE THIS EP!!!!! I cannot begin to stress how utterly awesome it is!