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Sacramento pop band Knock Knock was recently awarded a SammieÂ to honor their second CD Girls on the Run (2008), but as superb as that release is, I feel their debut was even more deserving of recognition. Warm Fronts, Cold Shoulders (2004) is comprised of such an abundant range of intriguing textures and indelible melodies that it would inevitably be a tough act to follow. It's remarkable that punchy uptempo tunesÂ like "I've Been a Drag" and "Dan Can You Stand" can occupy the same space with the languid beauty of "Oceanography" and "Levee," but Knock Knock seems to have a knack for mixing things up withoutÂ having to struggle to do so.Â "Eye of the Storm" finds a nice balance between the two extremes and is perhaps the best representation of their work as a whole, but you certainly wouldn't want to miss out on other catchy numbers like "Jorge" and "Rotten Dogs." Think of a poppier version of Yo La TengoÂ and you might have an ideaÂ of what to expect. Frontman Allen Maxwell's feathery-but-urgent vocals compare favorably to Ira Kaplan's while Heather Conway adds an even lighter touch to a pair of songs a la Georgia Hubley.Â Tasty stuff indeed, and when you're finished with this one, you should be more than ready to take in the gorgeous harmonies and sugar-rush momentum of Girls on the Run.
You can find Knock Knock's Warm Fronts, Cold Shoulders for sale here.