‘We Can’t Handle This’ – track one on this sapling Bay Area duo’s debut album – sounds like a Belle & Sebastian Dictaphone demo. Its tape hiss is almost as loud as its parts and yet its sweet, forlorn melody couldn’t be drowned out by jet engines. So yes, these San Fran-ers, who’ve been playing together for just 6 months, are packing a fair chunk of charm, and that’s before their 60’s-leaning psyche begins to flirt heavily with The Byrds and Love. Josh Alper and Glenn Donaldson coo in harmony and particularly on the sub-2-minute ‘Paris Cafe’ and prove that beautiful melodies are lo-fi in their very nature, and can thus be recorded so. That static “hisssss” doesn’t take long to become extremely annoying though, and a two-dollar drum machine adds to the ‘Rough Frame’’s woes, but if these songs were recorded properly this tie-dyed pop would be faultless.

By Stuart Stubbs

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