June 14, 2010


Douglas Martin is no stranger to totally awesome decisions. 

With the road to  “hipness” in 2010 paved with scuzz, filth, and layers of distortion, somewhere along the line, it became slightly uncool to listen to power-pop. Whether it’s the squandered goodwill of post-Matt Sharp Weezer, the tragic car crash that shortened the lives of members of The Exploding Hearts, or the sad, sad reality that bands like The New Pornographers and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists will always be shoved off of alternative-rock radio in favor of third-rate screamo bands and the diminishing returns of latter-day Death Cab for Cutie, timelessly catchy guitar-pop simply can’t get a break. Hopefully, Disco Vietnam will be a signifier of change and not another high-quality footnote.

In the interest of full-disclosure, it must be noted that Disco Vietnam frontman Barry Schwartz is a sometime-writer for Passion of the Weiss, but as it’s been said prior, none of us are in the practice of writing about wack shit just to give our friends a break. And “Little Infinity”, the first single from Disco Vietnam’s incredibly-titled Totally Awesome Decisions, is a top-shelf work from a skilled group, fronted by a man who just happens to know his shit.

Starting off with a descending guitar line and a tapped tambourine backed by pitch-perfect backing harmonies, “Little Infinity” packs quite a bit into its 2:05 running time: Huge drums augmented by the blast of guitars distorted just so, a middle-eight that expertly segues into a flawless chorus, and an earworm of a melody delivered through Schwartz’s addictive high tenor which creeps up to a falsetto during the aforementioned chorus. After your first listen, you immediately want to listen to it a second time. After your second listen, it is revealed that this is a song that reminds you of the days where bands actually knew how to construct songs; every part of “Little Infinity” compliments the parts that come before and after, and they are all assembled perfectly.

In an alternate universe not completely dissimilar from the one we live in, “Little Infinity” would find its way on radio stations all across the country and possibly even charting as a single, just like the quote-unquote “good-old days.” I’m not exactly sure when such an ideal stopped being cool.

MP3: Disco Vietnam – “Little Infinity”

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