Every city needs one band to embody the zeitgeist of indie rock. This is not a role to be taken lightly: Said band needs to have its collective finger on the pulse of modern trends and translate those vibrations into something cohesive, catchy and current. For a long time I gave this honor to Gentleman Auction House, but with the release of Up On The Moon, Target Market has taken the crown and become our town's aggregate rock & roll band. Hell, even the band's name suggests a demographic-savvy precision, and it appears that this band's target market is the readership of music blogs like Stereogum and Brooklynvegan.
All of which is to say that Target Market is quite excellent at playing familiar-sounding rock & roll that makes up for in conviction and skill what it lacks in originality. Listen closely and you'll hear the emotionally knotted intricacies of Death Cab for Cutie, the tempo-shifting tapestries of Broken Social Scene, the light disco-funk of Franz Ferdinand and the discordant drone of Yo La Tengo. Since 2006's No Thrills, the quartet has softened some of the sharp-cornered Pavement-aping in favor of a more sympathetic, direct delivery. The twin-guitar interplay remains a major selling point for the group, but on Moon these interwoven melodies aim straight for the heart, as on the minimalist-but-moving opening track, "At the Point of Singularity."
Elsewhere, swooping synth lines and Nathan Bernaix's high, dreamy vocals suggest a more muscular brand of space-pop, not unlike fellow locals the Hibernauts. Up On The Moon is solid evidence that Target Market excels in the collision of subgenres that combine into frenetic, full-bodied and guileless indie rock. Bands like this make ear-catching pop music look easy. It isn't.
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