Stockholm's Shout Out Louds have always been a curious but consistent act. They have been able to shift tones and themes with successive albums yet maintain unity on each. Past releases have had hopes for happiness, stark depression, and boasts of unrequited love, all with bouncy beats that often belied their lyrical nature. Here on Optica, their fourth, the Shouts attempt to balance all of the above with a decidedly decades-old sheen. There's electronics all over the place that don't reach back as far as, say, Cut Copy goes, which is the very reason it sounds more modern, and less '80s modern rock. "14th of July" gets into a sort of synth paradise, and "Where You Come In" has drums that would make Erasure jealous. But it's on "Blue Ice" that singer Adam Olenius reveals why it all works — the expressive conviction in his voice.
SHOUT OUT LOUDS:: Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston :: May 11 :: 8 pm :: 18+ :: $20 :: 617.562.8800 or thedise.com
: CD Reviews
, Shout Out Louds, review