Crossword Smiles – Pressed & Ironed
Tom Curless and Chip Saam are Crossword Smiles. Their new one, Pressed & Ironed, is a neat collection of retro pop tunes that marry the sound and sensibilities of yesteryear with fresh, engaging melodies and pleasing harmonies.
From opening guitar riff of “Feet On the Ground”, we get the sense that we’re in store for some stripped down, back to basics rock ‘n’ roll. But there’s so much more than meets the eye (or ear) as it were. “Parallel Lines” congers up memories of early Joe Jackson and specifically, “Look Sharp”. The strum and jangle of “Where’s the Sense” is a nice juxtaposition to the tunes before it. The guys display a diverse palette, making sure the listener’s attention never wavers.
For me, “This Little Town” is the ideal single. It’s a radio-friendly tune with a memorable chorus and ornate, weeping stings throughout. “Take It On the Chin” has a smart, hooky chorus and the requisite amount of jangle to keep us coming back for more.
Well Honed Retro Pop from Curless & Saam
The ten tunes of Crossword Smiles’ Pressed & Ironed will remind you of the songs you remember from the FM stations of the 70’s and 80’s. The songs and performances are strong. Less is more production values serve to make some songs feel more organic, others more urgent.
Crossword Smiles’ Pressed & Ironed is a Big Stir release. Get your copy at their Bandcamp page.