Local band Otter Petter describes itself as a mix between Matthew Sweet and Death Cab for Cuite, and that’s pretty goddamn accurate—you can hear Sweet’s modest, mid-nineties, wholesome wail and Ben Gibbard’s hi-low-and-repeat knack for vocal melody—far too much sometimes, like on “Let Go” or “Winter Days,” where you can’t tell the difference between those bands and this one. I like “Two Dates,” for both its simple, bouncy-pop and the totally unnecessary but awesome and surprising guitar solo right in the middle. The cheese-synth is nice on “Stars” and makes for a delicate, atypical closer to the record, one that leaves you anxious to hear what the band does next. Hopefully the five-piece will step a bit farther away from the overworked brand of Ben Gibbard’s lamentation, but, hey, there’s a place for that, too. (Tom Lynch)
August 12 at Subterranean.