The Gardes — Make Out the Sound 

If you chuckled just now, you have the right sense of humor to enjoy the goofy, low-key songs contained in “Make Out the Sound.”

Its nine, seemingly off-the-cuff performances are marked by low-to-mid-fi acoustic guitar, tambourine and a general feel of gleeful subversion, making early Mountain Goats and They Might Be Giants equally effective RIYLs.

The lyrics of “I’m Living in a Former Meth Lab” take the title as a starting point, spinning a yarn that’s either pointed cultural criticism or a straight-faced joke (or both). “Drink Drink Chug Chug” is the most twee, charming drinking song you’ll probably hear this year (at least, until the vomit noises come in). Surprisingly, the semi-title track “Let’s Make Out” is a heartfelt song with beautiful melodies that is not about foolin’ around.

The Gardes’ goofiness does lead them into some bizarre places. Closer “Lala Skipping Thru the Forest” is an audio approximation of just that, while “Soda Pop Music” is a bizarre “song” made with a straw and a soda bottle. “Alien Radio” is nine minutes long, twice as long as any other track. But the quirks are part of the charm, ensuring that “Make Out the Sound” is a fun, interesting release for fans of unusual pop.

The album is available at thegardes.bandcamp.com. —Stephen Carradini

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