This is the debut full-length for this Sydney, Australia band and it's another example of how Oceania is taking over the music world.
When I first listened to the album, I had no idea what to expect. The Griswolds are a band that have been getting blog buzz for a number of years, just not the ones that I happen to read, apparently. I did no research on them before I hit "Play" because I wanted to come to the album with absolutely no context. It's more fun that way.
Having listened to the album several times now, I looked at their Wikipedia page and was unsurprised to learn that the band cites Vampire Weekend as one of their influences, but it kind of feels like it should be the other way around. Like, Be Impressive sounds like it should be an obscure Australian album from the mid-80's that the guys from Vampire Weekend bonded over in their dorms. It's like they've distilled the quirky, synthy sound that is one aspect of Vampire Weekend's sound and made it into ultra-concentrated moonshine that not only makes you dance, but also takes you back in time.
The Griswolds have a knack for the ninja hook, that particularly infectious hook that you don't realize has hooked you until it comes back around in the chorus and you're filled with endorphins. It's amazing. Almost every song on the album does it. They show it to you at the beginning, then take the song all over the place, then return to the hook and it's been transformed into something you've known the whole time.
For me, the standout tracks on this one are "Beware the Dog", "Be Impressive", and "Thread the Needle" but really the whole thing goes together so well, it's almost not worth it to cherry-pick.
Here's the video for "Beware the Dog", the first single that is slowly working its way up the Alternative Songs chart!
You can pick it up starting August 25th at Amazon, iTunes, and Bandwagon