A decade ago, a crazy prolific indie rock band called Connections emerged from Ohio releasing three LP’s and four 7″ singles in a manic 18 month period. The link between Connections and Guided By Voices was easily made, not just because of the constant flow of releases, but also because of the band’s knack for writing concise indie rock gems in a similar vein. Another factor: some of the members of Connections played in 84 Nash, the first band to be signed by Robert Pollard’s Rockathon label. After the kickstart of Connections, the band took things more slowly, with 2016’s Midnight Run and 2018’s Foreign Affair. Then it became eerily quiet around the band, although the band’s lead songwriter Andy Hampel did release an excellent solo record. I consider myself a huge fan – all five LP’s found their way into my collection, but have to admit I’d already reluctantly resigned myself to the fact that there would be no new music by the band.
Fast forward five years, and suddenly Trouble In Mind announced a new LP called Cool Change. It is out today, and it evokes the same excitement of hearing Connections’ debut Private Airplane for the first time. Everything about Cool Change feels familiar; the melodies, the guitars, and yet, Connections make a convincing case that the world needed more Connections songs after all. Connections, now a six piece, have lost nothing of their lo-fi pop greatness, attacking these songs hungry and inspired. Their mix of classic indie rock, college rock, jangle pop and power pop is right up my alley.
If Connections’ Instagram account is as reliable a source I think it is, we won’t have to wait long for new music from the band. That makes me happy, but I’ll be gratefully rocking out to the underground hits fest that is Cool Change for the time being.
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