Austin’s Sweet Talk starts off their debut LP with the tempo-shifting “Put You Right Back” before launching into “Find You”, a tidy pop song in structure but loaded with rock ‘n’ edge. There’s the crux of Pickup Lines‘ success: working with finesse on solid ground. I’ve read that singer/guitarist Stephen Svacina’s favourite band is the Kinks. It’s no surprise, since Ray Davies et al worked in a similar vein.
What Sweet Talk brings to the equation is a harder approach, more in line with the modern American garage-rock scene. Svacina’s regular dude voice — with a hint of a British Invasion inflection — runs through classic rock themes, mining the space between making a life for yourself and rebel attitude.
The success of Pickup Lines isn’t so much bold reinvention as it is marshalling the right elements in the right places. Svacina and his bandmates are craftsmen, making a sturdy and enjoyable album worthy of a listen.