Skyscraper #24

Laughing, Gasping

Lest we forget in the latest blaze of revivalism that post-punk was not merely herky-jerky guitars, studied ennui, and artistic overreach, Portland’s Wet Confetti let go with their sophomore album. Marrying youthful enthusiasm, synth-drenched poptones, and the energy of a 1982 dance floor, Laughing Gasping is an object lesson in the accessible, if occasionally pretentious vision of the new wave crowd. Wet Confetti are seemingly oblivious of musical movement in the quarter-century since post-punk peaked, unlike similarly minded outfits such as, say, Citizens Here and Abroad who filter these stylings amply through nineties dream-pop. This is pretty much the unsullied article. Opener “Touch It” kicks off with a gunky synthesizer and bursts into a bouncy, infectious tune that could easily have come from one of Blondie’s good records. And the pace never lets up. The notable title tune is all Cars-influenced pop savvy. Sure, you’ve heard all this before, maybe even better, but Laughing Gasping is a good recording full of strong writing, and the vocals of bassist Alberta Poon imbue everything with a nicely paradoxical touch of sex and innocence. (Michael Meade)