Usually, overly long band names point to an irritating sense of self-importance. Why else would you make someone spend a full minute enunciating your name, or force your fans to apply some ridiculous acronym? But somehow, by about 15 seconds into "Glue Girls," the lead track from Pershing, it's easily forgiven. Perhaps it's the grin-inducing way the subtle, strummy acoustic intro segues into punchy electric guitar, just fuzzy enough to rough up the otherwise rounded corners. Next up, "Boring Fountain" launches with a bright and engaging horn line, underscored by harpsichordlike guitar.
Lyrically, the band is earnest but not cloying, playful but not precious. Charming and infectious might be good descriptors. Fans of the band's previous, debut effort will find themselves in familiar landscape, with sing-along choruses, handclaps, and whoa! whoa! scat-sung sprinkles providing the basic topography. That doesn't mean the band is mining familiar material to the exclusion of other veins; there is an element of exploration running just under the surface. Most often, it emerges as a bit of Jazzy-with-a-capital-J guitar work, as on "The Beach Song." Elsewhere, the band employs a bit of what one might call rock, welding hunks of bravado onto the sunny and genteel framework of songs such as "Oceanographer." These little flourishes and glints of divergence help transform the album from a passable indie pop record into something with a lot more ambition. The band with the never-ending name might have a similarly lengthy career.