The mustached Matthew Melton leads Warm Soda, a fizzy quartet rooted in garage rock but more elastic than your humdrum guitar-based noisemakers. In fact, Warm Soda aren’t what you’d call “noisy,” at least not in the way that term is typically applied today. Their pressurized third LP, Symbolic Dream, bounces with keyed-up drums and hook after squealing guitar hook, while Melton sneers out brick-wall vocals deep in the mix. But the production here is pristine, allowing the candied pop of opener “I Wanna Know Her” to rush forward at the right moments — the minor chord changes, the breathy recitation of the title. That freshness appears across the album’s dozen tracks, which crackle with nervous energy on “I Wanna Go Fast” and “Will You Be There For Me?” and ultimately find a teenage tenderness on “Lemonade Lullaby.” Melton’s an economical songwriter, stuffing each two-minute tune with as many peppy guitar antics as will fit, so the Strokes come to ear more than once throughout the album. It’s only fitting. Listening to the sugar high of Symbolic Dream leaves me palpably giddy, like Christmas 2003 when I dug Room On Fire out of my stocking and gave it a first spin. Listen below.
Symbolic Dream is out 5/4 on Castle Face.