This rock and stroll mini album by Chicago based The Yearbooks is reminiscent of the schmindie Brit pop brigade that infected the UK charts over a decade ago. Think The Boo Radleys or Teenage Fanclub. With passive vocals, plodding melodies and flaccid Stroke’s guitar lines ‘Have a Great Summer’ is a wishy-washy affair comprising of six melancholic pop numbers.
Too inconspicuous to anything other than acceptable this bland offering sits awkwardly in the no man’s land between New York rock and dated 90s melodies. The chorus on opener ‘She Did It With Her Eyes’ is repeated ad infinitum to hammer home that it’s a poppy hook. ‘Stranger of the Night’ is a out and out Stroke’s copy but toothless whilst single ‘Season of Love’ sounds like The Cardigans with a swirly chorus of doubled vocals but amounts to nothing more than a unremarkable duplicate.
Music doesn’t have to be loud or exciting, but it does need to be interesting. The Yearbooks miss this mark. Certainly, the last two tracks raise the bar, but not enough to warm me to the rest of the album nor does it stop the band sounding unoriginal, twee and somewhat catatonic. This mini album is pleasant enough but way routine to deserve commendation. And the question that I can’t answer is why listen to The Yearbooks when we can listen to those they’ve impersonated instead?