PURPLE 7: Garden Eyes: LP

When you distill the laid-back Dinosaur Jr vibes of Landlord, the singalongs of Defiance, OH, the spontaneity of Hot New Mexicans, and the soulful bravado of Reigning Sound, what remains is Purple 7. Opener “Company” sets the tone: a head-bobbing beat, a striking bass line, infectious vocals, a warm Midwestern pop sensibility. Every subsequent song perfects the formula without repeating itself. “Hope So” blitzes like the Buzzcocks and “Mother to Be” trades distorted power chords for open acoustic guitar chords without sounding hackneyed. Closer “Have to Go” is a rollicking rock’n’roll gem with spiraling guitars and a big chorus with backing harmonies. From front to back, Purple 7’s balance of swagger and vulnerability makes Garden Eyes punk popperfection. 

 –Sean Arenas (Salinas, salinasrecords.com)