With as much timbral, textural variation as this Foam Castles four-piece brings to the album — the oscillating hum that launches “Basic Basic Prison” or the weird arena-rock chorus of “Two-Seat” — the songs can occasionally get caught up in similar tempos. But it’s never hard to find footing. Jackson’s lyrics and the band’s arrangements are in full service of the emotion of the song, and several passages sound oddly, eerily familiar after only one or two listens. Take the “Gutshot,” another love song and a dark horse entry for the album’s peak, where Jackson marries an impenetrable lyrical hook with an irresistible melody: “for all time / always with your two blind sides.” No idea what it means, but after hearing it 10 times over two-and-a-half minutes, it has to match up to something. And the melody is so agreeable, so clearly a place he wants to go, that you might be forced to think of some heartfelt, similarly buried analogue from your own life. And yeah, he’s right, that is a gutshot.
THROUGH THAT DOOR | released by Foam Castles | Teenarena Records | teenarenarecords.com