Chicago “pysch-pop” band pleasantly heavy on the pop
2007 has seen the emergence of two very different bands with very similar names, undoubtedly leading to much post-record-buying gnashing of teeth. Be warned: The 1990s are a Glaswegian rock band, kind of like a crappy version of Franz Ferdinand. The 1900s are a self-described psychedelic-pop septet from Chicago. But for a psych-pop band, they lean awfully hard on the right side of the hyphen: Think The Zombies, not Donovan. On debut full-length Cold & Kind, The 1900s dress up glossy male/female harmonies with stately pianos, swirling chamber strings and horns, and burbling Wurlitzer. The svelte “Georgia” has the breezy, feel-good vibe of ’70s singer/songwriters, while the title track is laced with’60s reverb. But regardless of which decade’s styles they’re pilfering, the band’s deft, romantic melodies are paramount. These are sprightly pop ditties dressed up in regal accoutrements, equally suited to fans of The Shins’ fluffy indie rock and Rufus Wainwright’s musical theater.