Best Album

Fourth of July Before Our Hearts Explode!

Fourth of July's new album makes listeners want to spend some time lounging in the dark and winding maze of singer-songwriter Brendan Hangauer's brain. The lazy, hazy riffs of Hangauer's weathered Stratocaster glaze over the stewing, self-effacing barbs of Fourth of July's lyrics, which sound like Dave Eggers mixed with the unflinching honesty of Cursive's Tim Kasher. Don't be sure of things/Not even wedding rings, Hangauer sings in a deadpan sneer over jangling guitars. Bright, summery riffs burble through the murky mess of Hangauer's sorrow and anger, making the album of this underrated Lawrence band a work of manic-depressive beauty.

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