Surrogate’s previous effort had established the band as being well versed in a variety of writing styles ranging from folk to danceable pop-rock to alt-country, and while Popular Mechanics continues in that tradition, the band devoted themselves to developing this new batch of songs into a more cohesive flow. Catchy hooks and mellow but poignant instrumentation find themselves being the strongest of the common threads tying the record together. The band maintains that they write “intelligent pop songs for people of moderate to great intelligence,” and while intelligence may or may not have anything to do with its creation, Popular Mechanics is sure to find its way into record collections of all intellectual persuasions.
With Popular Mechanics, the second full-length from Chico, CA-based rock outfit Surrogate, the band has successfully honed their subtle blend of indie pop songcraft and lyrical witticism down to a science (pun intended). In the two years since the release of their critically acclaimed 2007 debut, Love is For the Rich —which NPR described as "deliciously low-key" and which elsewhere garnered comparisons to everyone from The Shins and Death Cab to shoegaze icons Starflyer 59 and Pedro the Lion —the band has toured the country with labelmates Emery and Ruth, played shows from Fargo to Florida, and diligently labored on perfecting the 11 songs that would eventually comprise Popular Mechanics.
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Jordan Mallory: Drums and Percussion
Chris Keene: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Keyboard, Accordion, Banjo, Xylophone, Percussion and Programming