Nada Surf at the Basement

From the December 6, 2012 edition

For better or worse, there’s no shaking the legacy of a song like “Popular,” so apologies to a band that’s probably sick of being attached to that particular Buzz Bin anthem. But Nada Surf has built up a sizable discography and a fervent core of followers in the years since by means of steady, straightforward guitar pop with a melancholy streak.

The clever new The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy continues that tradition. Its jangly strums and gleaming tenor are the definition of conservative, but they pull it off with such charm and grace that there’s really no reason to object, only to ignore.

Crystalline ’80s revivalists Eternal Summers open the show. Their current album Correct Behavior is a major leap from 2010 debut Silver; prepare to be hooked by the John Hughes treadmill sprint that is “Millions” or “Wonder,” which bites The Hives’ “Hate To Say I Told You So” riff and spits it back as something almost as glorious.