Brisbane, Australia’s Intercooler is not well known in the US but Read The Room is the bands fourth album and first since 2011. After making music together since 2001, the group got back in the studio with their original lineup and created one of the most hook filled powerpop records of the year.
Right from the opening big guitars on first track, “Every Time I Go,” you quickly get locked into Intercooler as the song is very Redd Kross meets Fountains Of Wayne as the layered vocals and harmonies move right along with the track. This formula flows seamlessly through Read The Room as “Surfin'” is another song that goes big with Phil Ballantyne’s vocal delivery. He has a very calm and direct demeanor much like Sloan or during the vocal playing bounce on “Live Life Like I Oughta,” Ballantyne could even be one of the Gallagher brothers from Oasis.
The musicianship on Read The Room showcases Intercooler’s veteran status. Long time drummer Damon Cox, which is also a member of An Horse, has even toured with Modest Mouse, The Front Bottoms, Kevin Devine, and others! This quality drives the record as the 10 mid-tempo tracks follow the longtime formula of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums that has always stood the test of time. Intercooler brings to mind so many great records from past powerpop masters like Velvet Crush, Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, Big Star or even newer albums from Brendan Benson, Young Guv, and 2nd Grade. Read The Room is incredibly hard to put down after you hit play as it is a perfect summer record to just let soar!
Key Tracks: “Everytime I Go” / “Surfin’” / “The Colder Golden Town”
Artists With Similar Fire: Redd Kross / Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever / Fountains Of Wayne
-Reviewed by Thomas Wilde