There’s never enough time to appreciate all the good bands while they’re around. I didn’t get into the Mescaleros until Joe Strummer was already dead. I didn’t get into Discount until Alison Mosshart became too cool for pop-punk. Now, I find myself wishing I’d heard about indie rock band The Besties in time. See, they dropped a nifty full-length this year called Home Free. It’s reminiscent of poppy acts like Juliana Hatfield, Del Cielo, Lemonheads, and maybe even Belly. Do kids still listen to those bands? Yes? No? OK, fine. Lemuria. They sound like Lemuria, only lighter. This record makes my ears high-five my brain. Clearly, I should be happy. Instead, I know only remorse. You see, The Besties are breaking up.
They’re breaking up hella soon too. Their last show is Dec. 6 with The Specific Heats and Bunnygrunt at some place in Brooklyn called
Home Free is a mighty fine collection of 11 catchy tunes. Admittedly, its second half is stronger, not that there’s anything wrong with the opening tracks. Tunes like “The Gothenburg Handshake” and “What Would Tim Armstrong Do?” are enchanting with their blend of keys, guitars, and bouncy melodies. But from “M.F.D.” through closer “79 Lorimer,” it’s all hits ahead. The hooks get more infectious, the melodies more lush, and even the instruments seem brighter. The lyrics all deal with relationships, money problems, and the band life, which are all appealing topics. In short, Home Free is a keeper, even if the band that wrote it is going away.