During the past few years, Brooklyn has established itself as the place for things musically interesting and new, the dynamo borough teaming with sounds that spawns a new genre everyday. But the four members of the Postelles are from Manhattan, and they’ve reached decades into the past for their sound.
The band’s self-titled debut is a collection of 12 polished but bare-bones guitar pop songs, heavily influenced by retro bookmarks like Television, Elvis Costello and the Beatles’ early stuff. Throughout the album’s course, the band members keep things light, clean, and upbeat, having set out to capture the energy and spiritedness of the band’s live show. These guys would’ve been right at home playing for the homecoming dance at some 1950s high school gymnasium.
Not to be left in the past, the Postelles also borrows from some more recent influences. For one, the album was produced by Albert Hammond Jr. (of the Strokes), whom the band members coaxed to one of their shows after running into him on the street. As a result, shades of the Strokes’ second album can be heard throughout The Postelles. Frontman Daniel Balk’s guileful vocals also bear some resemblance to another quartet that started as a handful of preppy Manhattanites (hint: Columbia University).
The Postelles’ members proudly brandish these influences and they do a good job of channeling it all into a catchy, consistent sound. But for the band’s full-length debut, 35 minutes pass without much of anything ever standing out (save for the closer, “She She”). More than anything, this album will make you want to do what the Postelles did in the first place: dig out Marquee Moon or Please Please Me and take those records for a spin.
Still, The Postelles is remarkably polished and consistent for a debut. If you’re looking for something fresh, you’d do well to look elsewhere. But if you’re nostalgic for the ’60s and all of your Beatles records are worn out, this will make for a pleasant listen.