When Neko Case sang about Tacoma in “Thrice All American” you’d never think the town would serve up a something quite like The Rallies. The band’s debut effort, the cheesily titled Serve, is a soundtrack to a sunny day. The wash of acoustic guitars, jangly lead lines, great vocal harmonies and strong songwriting will put a smile on your face and keep it there. The Rallies claim such stalwart poprockers as Tom Petty and Crowded House as influences and you can hear them on these recordings but the final result is something original. Comparing them to more contemporary artists, there is more than a little kinship with Philadelphia’s acoustic poprock outfit Good Old War to my ears.
Now here is where I usually pick out one or two songs as the album highlights but Serve is a solid ten tracks of poprock goodness, there really isn’t a weak track here. Just buy the whole thing. Single? “Still Gonna Want You” has the hooky development of a radio hit. The opening acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies of “Don’t Give Up” made my hair stand on end – very moving. “So Right” has a super Petty vibe going. Check out the nice trebly guitar on “These are the Words” with its hooky melody. “On My Mind” also sounds like a single to me with its strong guitar lines and vocal harmonies.