One of my most anticipated LPs of this year is the next record from Moose Blood, a UK-born indie/emo/pop punk group that stole my heart with their Brand New/Jimmy Eat World references and catchy hooks on “I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time to Time.” Their newest single “Knuckles” is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard all year, partly for hearing those sullen vocals from Eddy Brewerston again but also for that power-chord chorus that’s impossible to resist.

Moose Blood got a lot of play over the last year and this record, another H0peless release, seems to be getting  ton of hype. For a band that’s been around for four years, they sound incredibly polished, as “Knuckles” sticks to their previous sound of British radio rock meets Warped Tour, but with a little more format and structure thrown in. It’s a fun song, fawning over love and flirtation, with a punch of a plot twist in the bridge. I’m struck by how simple this song is – simple in that Brit pop way! – even down to a twice-through chorus – and yet it still sounds so full.

“Knuckles” and their other single, “Honey,” which has the same tight tension, rollicking riffs and ascending choruses, feel a lot brighter and focused than their past releases. There’s a ditching of the gloom that hung over tracks like “Bukowski” and “Gum,” but the same aggression and intensity — also, fortunately, the same great harmonies and drum fills. Looking forward to hearing more of “Blush” on August 5 as these guys formulate their sound and deliver , and watching the rest of the music world take note.

“It wasn’t hard to fall for you
You had it all planned out, didn’t you?
You turned up late but I would have waited for days
Days for you
For you

That thing you said, ‘stay beautiful’
Even though that I know that it’s second hand
I’d have you say it in the same way
That thing you said, ‘stay beautiful’
Even though that I know that it’s second hand
I’d have you say it in the same way.
~Knuckles
Moose Blood, Blush