- After releasing an excellent self-titled album in 2014, the duo of James Hoare (of Veronica Falls) and Jack Cooper (of Mazes) could have gone their separate ways, thus depriving fans of smart, sneakily good guitar pop a follow-up. Fortunately, their low-key collaboration continues with 2015's Green Lanes, and it's the equal of their debut, maybe even just a touch better. Working again in Hoare's home studio with the two men trading off songwriting, singing, and lead guitar duties in democratic fashion, the album is similarly laid-back and shaggy, with tricky guitar lines snaking around the breathy vocals and drummer Neil Robinson (also of Mazes) steadily steering the songs with calm precision. Hoare's production is simple and unfussy, letting the instruments and vocals breathe while adding just enough reverb to keep it from sounding dry. A great sound with no songs is kind of a let down, so it's good that both guys seemed to have upped their game just a little. Each of them turns in at least a couple classic indie pop moments. Hoare's lovely "Sweet Chris" sounds like it was half-inched from Gerry Love of Teenage Fanclub's songbook, his "Break the Chain" too is the best kind of unassuming melodic pop. Cooper's songs have a little more bite in general: his uptempo tracks like "(I've Got The) Sanctioned Blues" and "Woken by Noises" boost the energy level of the album, and the opening "Kodiak" kicks the record off in super-hooky Yo La Tengo-y style. The two work so well together, meshing styles so easily and breezily, that the resulting album feels like they've been working together for many years, not just a short time. Listening to the beautiful, restful, and balanced sounds of Green Lanes, one hopes that they do indeed continue to work together for years and years. ~ Tim Sendra
Rolling Stone - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]hey come up with a deliciously woozy guitar rush, buzzing in the style of the Velvets or the Clean, yet infused by the spirit of the Grateful Dead..."
NME (Magazine) - "'Two From The Vault' slopes along like a lost Pavement number and even the more familiar lilts of `The Ocean' and `Sweet Chris' are nuanced and sweet."