Real Estate

Domino Recording Company, 2024


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their sixth album, New Jersey based indie rockers Real Estate are here to maintain their stake on AAA indie rock. I first became familiar with them last year via Stereogum and a video for the album’s first single “Water Underground.” An homage to the classic ’90s Nickelodeon show my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Adventures of Pete & Pete and I was sold.

Listening to the album, the opening salvo of “Somebody New” and “Haunted World”… didn’t do much to impress me. The latter is definitely the better track with a stronger melody and better lyrics. “Water Underground” is a damn good song and reminds me of some Guadalcanal Diary from the late ’80s, down to Martin Courtney’s vocals.

But one of the faults with the record is the band’s sound. A lot of the songs sound very similar and slow as molasses. Even a band like Death Cab or The Feelies pick up the tempo and put some swing in the melodies. On a song like “Interior” is where it really becomes noticeable and it’s not great. There are tracks like “Say No More” that are a bit of change of pace and they end up sounding like an ’80s indie band, but for the most part this is a band that feels like they’re coasting on autopilot.

The vocals on “Victoria” are noticeably different than the rest on the album and while that doesn’t help the track become more than average, it does help to set it apart from the middling rest. “Market Street,” the second to last track, is one of the better songs here, no thanks to its brevity. The album closer on the other hand, “You Are Here,” drags and drags and doesn’t do enough to make it notable. All in all, this is a band that could stand to change things up a bit more than they have and while there is a bit here to recommend, it’s only songs, not the whole disc.

Rating: B-

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