Connections - Into Sixes LPAnyway Records
One would think that Columbus, Ohio's Connections took a breather in the early portion of the 2014. After cracking onto the music scene in 2013 with two critically acclaimed full length LP's (album of the year by Still Single, glowing coverage from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Onion AV Club...), one EP and several singles, tours with the Breeders and Ex Hex, the band has waited until the summer of 2014 to release Into Sixes -- a muscle flexing study that displays the epic proportions of the band's true anthem-driven nature.
Connections prowess lies in the head-spinning gift for melody, fortified by a stout backbone of wiry guitars and are as tight and loose as a well-worn sweat-suit in the chip section at Wal-Mart. Into Sixes presents Connections in full rock regalia, recorded at famed Columbus Musicol Studios with engineer Adam Smith. Stuffed with ringing harmonies by dual singers Kevin Elliott and Andy Hampel, sing-song roundabouts that can floor the listener after one chorus ("Minister of Ah Ah Ah"), Into Sixes is about as tasty as a sound one can devour.
The songs are still brief, with a handful extending past the FM radio friendly three minute mark, and a couple showing a subversive tendency to jam. "Apartment by the Interstate" and "Extremely Boss" though, are the aural equivalent of a summer roller-coaster ride, quick and satisfying and urging to be played over and over again. The sturdy confidence of "Brothers and Sisters" may be the closest that American underground rock has come to bridging the gulf of classic rock since Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing." Their pedigree includes the legacy of the long, lamented 84 Nash, the abstract thrall of El Jesus de Magico, and the essential '00s noise-pop of Times New Viking -- so it makes sense that Connections bring their vast knowledge and experience of music making (and listening) to full fruition on Into Sixes. At times, wickedly sloppy but always held together by a string of melody ("Angie") and harkening to some of the best indie and punk from both shores ("Beat The Sky" and "Cruise Control" have whispers of Stiff Little Fingers and The Wedding Present), Into Sixes is certainly the band's most realized record yet.