Somewhere a major-labor record exec is snoring. The Sounds’ third album is a dozen 3-minute synth-driven stencil pop songs deserving some serious airplay on modern-rock radio. Take that for faint praise, but there’s no reason songs like “My Lover” — which takes indie rock’s current semi-ironic ’80s new wave revival at face value, but ultimately works because vocalist Maja Ivarsson isn’t in on the joke — are noticeably catchier and better constructed than any of the fucking neo-neo-grunge bullshit stinking up airwaves these days. Ivarsson herself is proof enough the world’s not paying attention. Her pseudo-rapping on “Beatbox” suggests she’s learned nothing from Blondie’s “Rapture,” but the woman looks like Gwen Stefani as envisioned by a horny eighth grader. Someone get to exploiting them already.
— Jeremy Martin