The Rosedale Highs’ new EP, Tonight, is a meticulously constructed project, from their name emblazoned on the cover (the lettering makes them seem like an Eisenhower-era football team as much as a band) to the way the track listing is split into two groups of three songs (implying two sides to a jukebox 45). Guitarist/vocalist Jason Trevino, also heard in Spies Like Us, is on a mission: to deliver pop that is turn-of-the-’60s nostalgic in both presentation and sound. This is both a blessing and a curse. Dustin Olinick (bass), Samuel Amador (drums), and Santiago Martínez (guitar) make up a band that pull catchy melodies and three-part harmonies like a gang of soda jerkers. On tunes like “Isabelle” and “Tonight,” they’re power-pop doppelgangers recalling a simpler time. The problem is that album high-points “Interesting Thing” and “Breakfast At Night” go beyond that template: the former’s arrangement evokes the sunny but melancholy rock of the Replacements; the latter flirts with the lyrical complexity of Ben Folds. These two standouts actually make the rest of this enjoyable record sound a little too derivative of the influences it peddles.
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