The Australian quartet’s debut album has all the makings of the perfect summer soundtrack. Following the release of their EP Heart of a Lion in 2012, Be Impressive does not fail to deliver on its promise of delightfully effervescent indie-pop and arguably manages to surpass the EP with its mounds of energy. The first single released of the album, “Beware the Dog,” goes along the lines of telling the story of Little Red Riding Hood in reverse, from the accompanying video, but does so in a comedic light-hearted way that reflects the feel of the whole album.
“16 Years” follows a similar catchy pop pattern with a more synthy vibe that has already proven to be a hit with indie-pop fans. “Right On Track” is yet another example of the group’s catchy hooks. The best way to define their sound would be if you mashed up Vampire Weekend and MGMT, whom they have already mentioned to be amongst their influences. The Sydney group gained high praise initially from Australian Triple J radio station and have continued on their road to success with an appearance at Parklife and by supporting artists such as Django Django.
The second single to be released off the album, “Down and Out,” possibly doesn’t stand as strong in illustrating the best the quartet has to offer. “America” or “Not Ready Anymore” would have perhaps been better choices simply in being more distinctive melodically. The title track of the album, “Be Impressive,” boasts the more playful and youthful side to their sound, with children chanting the track name’s lyric repeatedly, very reminiscent of MGMT’s “Kids.” “Live This Nightmare” definitely brings the liveliness of the record down a notch but retains the same cheery indie-pop disposition. “Thread The Needle” stabs at being the more intense and perhaps more sombre track of the album but instead feels like its slightly losing the thread, in terms of where it fits with the overall tone of the album. However “Aurora Borealis” picks things up a little again, the title of the track being the Latin for the Northern Lights, being much more vivid in melody.
On the whole the Griswolds’ first endeavor does impressively extend over an entire spectrum of indie-pop dynamism. “Beware the Dog” in particular shows off the potential the group have to offer on future records and popularity they will undoubtedly gain with bigger live audiences.