Recalling the organ-rich strains of garage rock and the punchy rhythmic bounce of new wave, Koufax goes retro in several directions at once. While at times they approximate the sonic fussiness of chamber pop with bright, richly orchestrated pieces, their last album showed considerably more shimmy in their sway. The band's second full-length release, Social Life
, is a dramatic improvement from its debut, It Had to Do With Love
. Koufax infuses its keyboard/piano-rich attack with greater verve, reining its stylistic excesses into the trimmer structures of garage-rock rave-ups and three-minute power-pop bursts. Like the Strokes with a serious Joe Jackson fetish, Koufax affects a world-weary sneer and finds it suits everyone fine.
With the casual insouciance of the black-sheep older brother, singer-guitarist Robert Suchan urges you to "Break It Off" from your gold-digging betrothed, brags about "Having a Mrs. Robinson, knowing that it's only the sin that's the attraction" on "Adultery," and bids "So Long to the Good Times" with the knowledge that "wishful thinking won't amount to living." It's this jaded indifference that keys the album, dovetailing the lyrical tone with this tougher, tighter sound that's gritty yet sophisticated.