The Tuesday Suits – Your Silver Lining

The Tuesday Suits
Your Silver Lining

The Tuesday Suits is an active New York band churning out power-pop/rock on its album Your Silver Lining. In another era, you might have called this emo. But then, a lot of emo always sounded like revved-up power-pop to me.

There’s no mistaking the emphasis on vocals throughout this recording. They’re up front in the mix, and they occupy much of the space in the sound. The lyrical subject matter draws on the well-trod boy-meets-and-loses-girl conceit, which is fine but can wear a little thin after a while – even though the vocal delivery is always earnest and urgent. Upon first listen, it sounds like the singer is trying too hard. After repeated listens, you get the feeling that he’s actually not overdoing it (on purpose, anyway), but rather just has a lot to say and imbues his words with all of the emotional import he’s experiencing at the time.

The music bears some similarity to the Strokes. It’s catchy, rather direct, and energetic. It’s also fun, even when the songs aren’t especially celebratory. “If This Night is Dark…” begins with a driving beat that opens onto a guitar lead those Strokes would have been proud to write. As it moves into the verses and choruses, the song maintains its momentum nicely, showing the band capable of handling the “rock” side of pop-rock.

Other songs display more of the band’s pop aptitude, but – amazingly – almost without hooks. What I mean is that the songs are melodic and sometimes catchy, but they don’t leave you humming, because they don’t beat you over the head with repetitive choruses. “Miss Wyoming” repeats the refrain “I miss you so bad” a few times, but when the song ends you’ll probably have to concentrate a little to recall its melody.

Sometimes the lead guitar sounds out Minus the Bear-quality lines (especially on “The Melancholy Snipers” and “A Season in Hell”), usually offset by the pretty standard rhythm guitar’s chords. The bass and drums don’t figure too prominently on any of the songs, which is a shame because the thin production doesn’t really suit this kind of music. I’m not saying the band needs to go all U2 on us, but I think that better production would bring out more of the band’s power.

Of course, the Elvis Costello-type closing ballad “The Good Times” sounds just as it should, because its power derives from the simplicity of the acoustic guitar backing the (again) heartfelt vocals. Which got me thinking: maybe all of these songs are essentially ballads, dressed up as pop and rock songs.