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  These Are Good People  
  Little Big League  
  Tiny Engines  
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Little Big League are a four-piece indie pop band from Philadelphia. These Are Good People is their debut full-length release, and it is a charming little indie pop record.

Little Big League are at times jangly, while at other times they are piano-y. The rhythm section drives the songs along nicely. The only complaint i have with the music is that vocalist/guitarist Michelle Zauner can occasionally be a little too high-pitched in a way that sort of grates on my nerves. Not on every song, mind you, but lady, please learn how to tone down some of those high notes!

The record starts off promisingly with Lindsey, in which a piano plunks alongside a nice rumbling guitar. But her voice is at its highest pitch here, especially at the start, as if her first recorded notes were before she learned to sing a little deeper in her register. Indeed, as the song goes on, she starts singing more than screeching, a breathy singing, but singing nonetheless. Meanwhile, the guitars and drums and bass swirl around her nicely.

My Very Own You is a similar song, only it is a little janglier and does not have the piano bit. I like the staccato guitar riffing on the chorus here.

But the next track, Dark Matter, is where the band really shines. This is a vaguely lo-fi indie pop song with guitars fuzzy and deep along scattered drumming. Zauner barely mutters her lines half the time, leaving them nicely buried in the mix, but occasionally she wails up over the guitar jangle and the steady percussion. This is insanely catchy and in many ways reminds me of the great Canadian indie pop band Rah Rah.

On Summer Wounds, however, they remind me of Tennis, only without the piano. Also, well, although Zauner does a good (non screechy) job here, she is just not as powerful a singer as Alaina Moore. But the guitars here, played by Zauner and Kevin O'Halloran, really channel that chimy melodic Tennis-style. That guitar comparison is continued on Brackish Water, which works better of their two Tennis-like tunes.

Little Big League mix it up and start off Sportswriting with some shoegazery guitar warble and deep thudding drums, the whole song growing with feedback and distortion. Naturally, i really like this song, but this kind of catchy noisy pop is my thing.

Settlers starts with a long, nice instrumental bit, which is different for them. Zauner's vocals are different here too, gaspy and subdued on the verses, but angrily shouting on the choruses. It's a pretty good and gets them out of their comfort zone.

On Tokyo Drift the guitars tinkle nicely, like slower moments of Superchunk. And finally the debut record ends with the nicely titled Never Have I Ever Walked Away When the Time Was Right, a mid-tempoed pop tune.

Overall, i like this record. Little Big League make pleasant pop, and Zauner and O'Halloran are a good guitar duo, playing off each other nicely. However, Zauner's voice can get a little shrill at times, and that will throw off some listeners. Still, Dark Matter and Sportswriting are really great pop tunes.

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