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The Trampolines

The Trampolines (Self-released)

The Trampolines' no-frills brand of acoustic rock is as indistinct as it is predictable: The songs swell and crescendo on cue, the lyrics follow an earnest singer-songwriter template and the guitar lines are melodic but routine. So it's easy to beat up the act's self-titled debut -- but like a piñata, no matter how many holes you poke in its shell, all that spills out are candy-coated pop gems. Vocalists Mark Sundermeier (formerly of Sad Star Cafe and Ordinary Poets) and Chris Stake's (previously of Losing November) instantly hummable melodies and mellifluous three-part harmonies help the Trampolines defy prosaic typecasting. Although there's no shortage of great tunes on the disc, "Bring Me Down," the album's closer and one of two holdovers from Sundermeier's previous outfits (the other being "1963"), provides the best example of the their notable ability to dovetail voices. The track, which was recorded live for a Homegrown segment on 99.5/The Mountain, is buoyed by the stripped-down instrumentation and recording, which unexpectedly complements the album's overall organic production.

 
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