It’s a wonder what a little bass can do for Eternal Summers’ sophomore release, Correct Behavior. Thanks to the thief who stole Nicole Yun’s Parker Nitefly guitar, the Roanoke band, now a trio, plays with a more intricate, low-end, mature sound on its new album. The newly minted bassist Jonathan Woods builds on Eternal Summers’ two-instrument formula and makes up for what was missing on the lackluster debut Silver. While Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff stick to their staple quirky highs, Woods brings a stirring balance with his rich and luscious lows.
The labeled dream-punk group wastes no time in introducing its exciting new sound. “Millions” is an alluring opening anthem, and its pounding percussion, flowery vocals and driving bassline make it one of the most accessible tracks on Correct Behavior. “Wonder,” the rougher second track, sums up teen angst in about two minutes. There’s even a lyrical nod to mom and dad: “Who can understand you/Putting your record on/Shut the back door.”
Starting off low and slow, a spontaneous and unexpected pickup sends “I Love You” to new highs. Behind the simplistic “I love you/You do too” lyrics, you’ll find brute force and conviction in the playing. Very Vampire Weekend-esque, “I Love You” hits you head on with ooh-wooh-wooh-woohs.
“It’s Easy” is a soft and melancholy comedown from the punk-pop dance party that comprises the first half of the record. The first power ballad on the album, “It’s Easy” is an example of why the Eternal Summers are marked under dream punk. Just to switch things up, Cundiff takes lead vocals on “Girls In The City.” With a looming and dark tone, he talks rather than sings over Yun’s polished guitar licks.
Correct Behavior ends with the lo-fi gem “Summerset.” Yun’s voice soars above all of the fizz and fuzz. When she sings without all of the quirky cracks and cute accents, she is unstoppable and quite mesmerizing. It’s a final song that you’ll want to put on repeat, a perfect ending to this fun summer album.