Army Navy
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Army Navy

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
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"Rolling Stone Bands to Watch"

The Band: Army Navy
The Buzz: That combative name is a bit of misdirection: these Seattle power-poppers write songs more suitable for lovers than fighters.
Listen If: You wish the Stone Roses were a little more forceful or Oasis were a little more restrained.
Key Track: "Saints," a bit of bounding jangle-pop guided by Justin Kennedy's plaintive, searching vocals. - Rolling Stone


"LA TIMES Army Navy still battling as an indie with 'The Last Place'"


July 27, 2011

The chance to collaborate with Morrissey isn't an opportunity most young rock musicians would take lightly. Justin Kennedy of the recently reinvigorated Army Navy justifiably jumped at the opportunity. But the band, having just released the vibrant collection of lovelorn-in-Los Angeles power pop that is "The Last Place," didn't gleam much musical knowledge from the dapper chronicler of strained relationships.

Kennedy, after all, pays the bills as a wardrobe stylist. "I dress people for photo shoots or events, or dress actors for red-carpet events," Kennedy said.

Sometimes these lead to exciting encounters, he said, such as the time he flew in Tom Cruise's private jet, and sometimes helping a man dress to his best can be "a dream come true," such as Kennedy's moment with Morrissey.

"I don't get to work with many musicians, so working with him, someone who has influenced me since I was a child -- and probably a major influence on the way I think -- was amazing," Kennedy said. "I was able to chill with him."

Morrissey even gave Kennedy a nickname. "He called me '80s legs," Kennedy said. "He said, 'What's up with the skinny jeans? Is that a retro thing?' At the end of the day he said to me, 'Thanks, '80s legs.' I was like, 'Holy crap, Morrissey just gave me a nickname!'"

Kennedy these days isn't ashamed to let out his music geek fandom for all to see -- or at least those who were drinking and eating at downtown's Senor Fish in the middle of a recent Friday afternoon. Yet not too long ago Kennedy was enveloped in a level of moroseness that would have made his musical hero proud. Army Navy had an arsenal of songs openly tracking Kennedy's recent gone-bad relationship, but no label, and no funds to record and self-release them.

"We write catchy melodies, and we want people to hear these songs," Kennedy said. "We're not an indie band that doesn't want to be known. We'd love to make this our living. None of us can make a living on this. Every money that comes in from the band goes back into the band."

Luck has no doubt played a part in allowing Army Navy to survive long enough to record two albums, but so has the ever-evolving music business. Twice now, Kennedy's band has been saved by the film industry, once in 2008, when "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" licensed two of the band's songs, and then again in 2010, when a placement in the trailer for "Shrek Forever After" gave Kennedy the funds to underwrite the 11-song chronicle to busted grown-up love that is "The Last Place."

Recording for "The Last Place" was stretched out over a six-month period, in part because each member of the core trio has day jobs, but also to ensure that "The Last Place" had a fuller, bigger sound than their 2008 self-titled debut.



Kennedy may sing that love in Los Angeles is nothing more than "pretend" in "Ode to Janice Melt," but in the grand power-pop traditions of Shoes, Material Issue and the Fountains of Wayne, wallowing here is delivered with buoyancy. Handclaps, keyboards and sharply exuberant guitars abound, as do swooning harmonies ("The Long Goodbye") and big rhythms (the stop-and-start groove of "The Hunter").

"Instead of layering the guitars, we wanted one great guitar," Kennedy said. "That made it sound bigger. There was less clutter, but finding the right tone took a long time."

Kennedy composed closely with guitarist Louie Schultz. His bandmate often writes directly off of the singer's lyric sheet. "He wanted the lyrics in front of him when he was working on a guitar part," Kennedy said. "He wanted his guitar to mimic what I'm saying. Probably no one would ever really know that, but in his mind, he knows it's a reflection of my viewpoint."

"The Last Place" was officially completed in early 2011, and the band went to the annual South by Southwest Festival & Conference in Austin, Texas, to weigh their options. Kennedy said the group met with some labels, but was quick to add that t - LA Times


"Stereo Subversion- When it comes to Army Navy, sign me up big time"

I shouldn’t write this review.

As a matter of course, I don’t review albums from bands I know much about — I like the tabula rasa of being pleasantly surprised or disappointed by a band I’m hearing for the first time. And while I was aware of Army Navy (it did have that song on Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) when I clicked go to begin The Last Place, the new release from the Los Angeles trio, I wasn’t prepared for the 45 minutes of unrelenting bliss which followed. We all have a soundtrack to our lives, and I can not stop listening to The Last Place because it is mine.
You see my dilemma.
I love power pop, maybe too much (I have multiple Romantics albums), and what Justin Kennedy and his Army Navy mates created is a power pop classic which harkens Elvis Costello, The Housemartins and a brilliant but forgotten band called For Squirrels. The jangles, the hooks, the lyrics of an ardent affair with a Hollywood starlet (is it real? Who cares) — it’s all too much for my indie pop heart to take.
The band me has me at go – the opening guitar riff of “Last Legs” is simple yet glimmering – racing through a varied tune which includes a Teenage Fanclub fuzzed-out guitar solo followed by an acoustic break The Smiths would be proud of. “Ode to Janice Melt,” a skip-jump of a song, is meant to perpetuate Kennedy’s supposed affair with married actress — “maybe it’s your celebrity/ that makes you want to slum it with me,” he sings with whimsy. But what may have been a bad breakup sure sounds good on tape.
There’s not a song to dislike. “A Circus” is romping with homages to the best of Nick Lowe; “Feathered” is a three-minute gem roaming in Rivers Cuomo territory; and I dare anyone to not foot tap along to “I Think It’s Gonna Happen.” You have no choice.
I thought the album-ending “Pastoral” was going to trip the band up — power pop does not translate in six-minute songs — but this too builds into a triumph. It starts as a ballad and ends into a chanting free-for-all.
So that’s it. I know reviews are meant to be conjured with a critical eye and this reads more like a fan letter to a Teen Beat fanzine. I don’t care, we love what we love — and this I love - Stereo Subversion


"Chicago Tribune - Greg Kot review - 3 of 4"

Album review: Army Navy, 'The Last Place'
August 09, 2011|Greg Kot | Music critic
3 stars (out of 4)
 
Former Ben Gibbard collaborator Justin Kennedy formed Army Navy in Los Angeles in 2004, and his melancholy jingle-jangle found favor in Hollywood movie soundtracks such as “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and “Beastly,” if not commercial-radio play lists.



Army Navy’s second album, “The Last Place” (The Fever Zone), solidifies Kennedy’s credentials as a pop-rock aficionado who aspires to write chiming, guitar-stoked melodies in the mold of prime Badfinger, Teenage Fanclub and Shoes.
Kennedy specializes in bittersweet laments from the perspective of the jilted: Lines such as “Look what you done to me,” “I’ve been waiting here too long,” and “This was never meant to be this way” are sung with a deceptive boyishness, the barest hint of idealism lingering like a hangover amid the carnage. The stalkers in “A Circus” and “The Hunter” are a long way from the innocents of the bubblegum era. Besides, there’s no time for self-pity as the band digs into one spirited melody after another: the voice-guitar tag-teaming in “Last Legs,” the relatively concise bang-bang rhythms of “I Think It’s Gonna Happen,” the expansive ebb and flow of “Pastoral.”
- Chicago Tribune


"Pitchfork"

When it started going around that lovelorn L.A. indie popsters Army Navy's sophomore set, The Last Place, would be a song cycle about a relationship gone awry, a writer friend made an excellent point: The funniest thing about a power-pop concept album about being torn apart by love is that every power-pop album is a concept album about being torn apart by love. But while Army Navy's dissection of those post-relationship stages of grief over chiming guitars might seem old hat to fans of the genre, here familiarity mostly works in their favor.

As on their self-titled debut, Army Navy's jangly chords, insistent rhythms, and lyrical treatises on love cop copiously from the heroes of the form: Teenage Fanclub, the Posies, and Big Star, with even a little Superchunkian heft on the burlier numbers. But, as our Jayson Greene pointed out in his review of the band's self-titled debut, "being a well-studied song encyclopedia is half the point" of pure power pop like Army Navy's. While many close readings of the heartbroken past ring out on The Last Place, they're never so studious as to be dull. The playing's always spirited, producer Adam Lasus lends the disc a warm, ingratiating sound, and the songs are both taut and well-considered in their arrangements. The Last Place is punchy and stately alike; the hooks aren't necessarily the skull-sticking kind on first pass, but they're easy enough on the ears to keep you listening, and crafty enough to burrow their way in after prolonged exposure.

Army Navy's note-perfect mining of the classics isn't merely musical. Frontman Justin Kennedy's woebegone lyrics about the one who got away-- who, it comes out in fits and spurts throughout The Last Place, may've been a celebrity, and may not've exactly been unattached-- hew almost as closely to classic power-pop tropes. Melodically, the homage-heavy style works wonders. Kennedy's tunes don't just hark back to Bandwagonesque or Frosting on the Beater; they could proudly stand beside them. Kennedy's words, a balance of imagistic detail, self-reflection, and a sort of standard-issue pop yearning, aren't always quite as successful. Juicy as Kennedy's ruminations on his soured romance can be ("Maybe it's your celebrity/ That makes you want it slum it with me"; "There she goes/ Goddamnit, he knows"), when he drops the narrative conceit, at times his pining feels a bit shopworn.

"I know that I'm right/ But I don't want to fight for you," Kennedy moans at one point in "Wonderland to Waterloo". For every big reveal on The Last Place, there's a line or two of textbook hurt-speak like that one. There's a good reason for this occasional aversion to detail; Kennedy is, after all, still attempting to conceal the identity of his ex-love even while reliving their downfall, and since he's recalling feelings and events concurrently, the whole thing's bound to get a bit tangled. A close study of The Last Place does prove reasonably revealing as to Kennedy's post-breakup headspace, gradually moving from just before the split to the estrangement to something like acceptance; more than that, though, the pain of it all is plain as day in his voice. But those looking for some sort of indie-TMZ from The Last Place are bound for a letdown; no names are named, Kennedy looks inward more often than outward, and any dirt being dished can't sully Army Navy's meticulous music. True, a bit more of the sordid stuff would've lent these tunes a bit more of an edge. But The Last Place is long enough on melodic details, it can afford to play the lyrical kind a little closer to the chest.
- Pitchfork.com


"Spin 8 out of 10"

The second album from this jangle-drunk Los Angeles quartet is pure pop for now people: Underneath Last Place's aerial guitar riffs and chipper choruses lies an astutely observed, acutely wrenching breakup narrative. Frontman Justin Kennedy cycles through the stages of grief, from bitterness (the deceptively upbeat piano plink of "Ode to Janice Melt") to shrugging acceptance (the aptly titled "Pastoral"), emphasizing sharp hooks and partisan reportage over woe-is-me solipsism. A feel-bad record you can actually feel good about. - SPIN Magazine


"eMusic "The Last Place " Review"

n 2008, the L.A. band Army Navy put out a minor classic in the determinedly minor subgenre of power pop. Insofar as it's even acknowledged to exist outside of the world of record store clerks, power pop is mostly music of misplaced nostalgia and helpless obsession, and it succeeds in no small part by how it manages to remind you of every other pop song you've ever loved. Army Navy's self-titled debut — sunny and sad, sweet and bracingly sour, fresh-faced and weary — was a master class in this balancing act, splitting the difference between '70s acts like Big Star and '90s revivalists like the Posies with effortless aplomb.

Sometimes artists seek to recreate in art what they cannot achieve in life, however, and it often seems that the winsome souls who make this music are always pitching, in their personal lives, towards some new heartbreak. So it's not shocking to learn that the inspiration behind Army Navy's emotionally devastated latest record, The Last Place, is a woman. In the wake of the first Army Navy record, frontman Justin Kennedy fell in love with someone famous — who also happened to be married. The whole affair lasted six months, but it left him with enough bewildered anger and humiliation to pen a whole record. The result is a poisoned Valentine dripping with equal parts beauty and scorn; imagine a Vulcan mind-meld between Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque and Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear and you're there.

The shimmering guitars, bright vocal harmonies, and seamless verse-chorus-verse transitions of Army Navy's debut remain undimmed. If anything, they shine brighter; crack open a power-pop geek's heart, it seems, and gorgeous music leaks out. The first words Kennedy sings on The Last Place's title track are "The last place I wanna be is in my head." It's a bummer sentiment, but Kennedy arcs the melody upward like he's straining to place the gold star atop a Christmas tree. "Ode To Janice Melt" (the name is a reference that Kennedy assured us in our interview, "if she saw the title alone, she would know the song is speaking to her") bops along lightly to a plinked piano and xylophone while Kennedy sings plaintively, "Maybe it's your celebrity/That makes you wanna slum it with me."

The woman in question is never named — partly due, one suspects, to justified fears of libel lawsuits, but it also heightens the album's exquisitely private sting. At any rate, the tortured specifics of Kennedy's romantic dilemma dissolve when exposed to such relentless pop sunshine. When he wails "There's a cost to letting our hearts lust" on "I Think It's Gonna Happen Now," he might get personal catharsis; we just get an effortlessly memorable, relentlessly pleasing soundtrack to our summer. - eMusic


"Army Navy: A stellar performance at Silverlake Lounge"

Los Angeles' own Army Navy took the 11pm slot at last night at Silverlake Lounge, though I have no idea why. The venue seemed a little too small for their polished, larger-than-life sound, and in the past they've supported stellar acts like The Dodos and Arctic Monkeys. They even performed on Conan O'Brien's ill-fated tonight show, another hint at the group's fast-rising star. Last night, Army Navy delivered everything that their recorded tracks had promised and more: it was like a fantastic combination of whimsical 80's post-punk, garage rock, and weird indie pop sensibility a la The Get Up Kids. or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The bassist looked happy bordering on blissful, the guitarist more reserved but cheerful, the drummer a dead ringer for Dave Grohl. They were like sublimely happy bodies orbiting the just-barely-contained supernova of Justin Kennedy. His facial expressions, vocal delivery, and body language exposed the many layers existing below the polished surface, and it was impossible to look away for fear of missing even a sliver of meaning. Truth be told, they were all skilled at musical expression, letting ideas grow organically using repetition and dynamics to enhance the build and subsequent breakdown. But Army Navy wasn't all roiling intensity: in fact, every member seemed relaxed and good-humored between songs. They seemed like the type of guys that would be fun to hang out with on the road or in general, and their music video above for "My Thin Sides" (featuring Paul Scheer) definitely speaks to their wicked sense of humor.

While the band wore their influences on their sleeves, they certainly didn't waste any time transcending said influences. They took more rhythmic and harmonic risks than the aformentioned bands; at times, playing to the audience's expectactions while at others, defying them completely. For a brief but telling example, listen to the way they arrange their background oohs and ahhs: at first, it's hard not to think "oh yeah, The Beatles did this". But then they switch up the rhythm, the harmonic layers, or drop out completely. To me, that's indicative of a band with both staying and transformative power. I don't know what's next for them, but I sure can't wait to find out. Army Navy's latest album The Last Place (cover pictured below) is now available for purchase here. For more information on upcoming tour dates, please follow Army Navy on Facebook or Twitter.
- bestnewbands.com


"NME"

On a more indie tip, Los Angeles' sons Army Navy have spent their life obstinately sweating in woollen suits, refusing to accept that they live anywhere other than Britain. Yeah, there's sunshine in those guitars, but their melancholia can only stem from souls rooted in a a country where tinned meat is considered family food. 'Saints' is their best track-it'll make you sad in a chirpy way. - NME


"Spin Magazine"

Songs You Need to Download

#2 - Army Navy "Saints" A splashy jangle of distorted guitars and winsomely defiant vocals-like Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque all jacked up on Mountain Dew - that's the feel-good nonhit of the winter. - Spin


"Pitchfork Review"

Army Navy:
Army Navy
[Fever Zone; 2008]
Rating: 7.8
Buy it from Insound
Download it from eMusic
There's something about the fresh-faced, upbeat kind of guitar pop that L.A.'s Army Navy traffics in that seems to attract weekend warriors. This music causes otherwise-mild, thirtysomething white men to abandon more practical pursuits in order to sing open-hearted songs of sexless yearning brimming with sha-la-las, handclaps, and chiming 12-string guitar. Robert Pollard-- schoolteacher turned indie rock star-- is the drunken patron saint of this set, and every year brings a new batch of hopefuls in the "perfect three-minute Merseybeat-era pop tune" sweepstakes, the Kinks, Hollies and Dave Clark Five records of their (or their father's) youth ringing in their ears.
Keeping with the trend, all members of Army Navy were otherwise engaged when lead singer and songwriter Justin Kennedy, then working as a wardrobe stylist, assembled them. With the assistance of one disproportionately famous member-- Pete Thomas, former drummer for the Attractions (Doug Randall and Josh Zetumer also play here, and Randall is the band's current drummer)-- they have crafted a bubbly, effervescent valentine to obscure power pop bands of the late 1970s and early 80s. Their self-titled debut combines the perky bounce of the original bands with the beefed-up sonics of the 90s revivalists like the Posies and Teenage Fanclub, and the results are infectious enough to inspire a whole new batch of misbegotten hopefuls.
Kennedy's songwriting references so many sources that trying to figure out exactly which three or four guitar bands he's channeling should provoke heated discussion. For a rock critic, tracking all the echoes quickly becomes madman's work: the soft bed of guitars that opens "Saints" is pure Teenage Fanclub, for instance, while Kennedy's bright, nasal tenor is a dead ringer for Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider at some points and eerily reminiscent of the dB's' Chris Stamey at others. In any case, the constant low-grade déjà vu is a boon in an intentionally derivative subgenre like power pop, where being a well-studied song encyclopedia is half the point.
The other half, of course, is to write songs that are great by themselves, and Army Navy is a blast even if you've never heard of Bomp! Records. The melodies expertly blend heartache and insouciance, so even when Kennedy offers something as pointed as "Believe me when I call and I say/ The next girl that I love won't be a saint/ Now go away," it sighs rather than sneers. Contemplative midtempo numbers like "Slight of Hand", "In the Lime", and the achingly pretty "Golden Pony" split time with upbeat rockers like "My Thin Sides", where the hyperactive drumming buoys a jigging little guitar figure. Nearly every track boasts a breakdown or a bridge as fully realized and catchy as the enormous choruses: Kennedy is the kind of guy who believes firmly in the power of the middle eight.
But the classic moment, the three minutes of pure alchemy that capture the swagger, vulnerability, and goofy joy that defines the best of power pop, comes from the single cover-- Maxine Nightingale's 1975 smash "Right Back Where We Started From". It's a head-smackingly perfect song choice: a time-warp and a gender-warp, a boy singing a girl's song that was written during the disco era to remind people of the Motown era. The guitars shimmer, groove, and swing; pianos pound while handclaps ricochet off the downbeat; and Pete Thomas does the big-beat Dave Clark Five caveman pound on the chorus, which comes back again and again, never losing an ounce of joyousness. It's exactly this sort of effortless charm that causes accountant dads to start eyeing their long-dormant six-strings. - pitchforkmedia.com


"Billboard"

Not all was smooth sailing during Army Navy's first national tour this fall. The band ran out of gas in "deep, deep, Oregon" and frontman Justin Kennedy accidentally ran over guitarist Louie Schultz's foot while they took turns pushing the van. "He just toughed it out to the last, propping his foot up on a stool at shows. I mean, we felt bad," Kennedy says with a laugh. "Crutches just weren't in the budget."



If the Los Angeles-based foursome keeps on its current road, a budget will be the last thing on its mind. In two-and-a-half months' time, Army Navy has moved 2,000 copies of its debut self-titled full-length, according to Nielsen SoundScan, with even more sold on the road. The indie rock troupe got a little help from Allegro/Nail, which offered to distribute physical copies to major retailers. "Army Navy" also consistently appears as a top 10 best seller on eMusic.

The band can expect to see an uptick in sales overseas since the album has been licensed and released by Japanese label 1977. The single "My Thin Sides" will soon be promoted as the song of the week on iTunes Australia. The track's hilarious music video, featuring comedian Paul Scheer from "Human Giant" and director Jeremy Konnor, has been making the rounds online.

Kennedy formed the band four years ago when he moved from Seattle to L.A., after backing singer/songwriter Anna Waronker and spending a number of years in the late '90s co-writing songs with Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie fame) in the band Pinwheel.

The new album is a harmonious blend of pop and upbeat rock, produced by Adam Lasus and boasting vocals from all band members. The group initially recorded with former drummer Josh Zetumer (who quit midway to pursue a screenwriting career, which includes a remake of "Dune" and the new James Bond flick). Before landing Douglas Randall to permanently fill the drummer stool, Army Navy utilized a very special guest: Pete Thomas, from Elvis Costello's backing band the Attractions.

Prior to "Army Navy," the group scored some prominent synch deals on "The OC," "Weeds" and "Numbers." Appearances on the soundtrack and trailers to "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" followed, plus a deal with music placement agency Bank Robber Music. But nothing seemed to tickle Army Navy more than the use of its song "Snakes of Hawaii" in the straight-to-DVD big-screen knockoff movie "Snakes on a Train."

"They had a whole review of the thing in Variety that was like, 'This is the most horrible thing to ever be made, there is nothing redeeming or funny about it, blah blah blah," bassist Benjamin Gaffin says with a laugh. " 'But that Army Navy song is a pretty nifty tune.' " - Billboard Magazine


"Brooklyn Vegan"

Not the most action-packed week of shows, at least as far as I'm concerned, but there's always a few worthwhile things to check out. In town this week are LA-via-Seattle band Army Navy, playing shows tonight (9/2) at Mercury Lounge and Thursday (9/4) at Union Pool. These guys mostly mine various eras of Scottish jangle, from the brittle, manic sounds of early-80s Postcard Records (Orange Juice, Joseph K) to the harmony-laden sounds of Teenage Fanclub and Cosmic Rough Riders. This is super-catchy stuff -- their self titled debut (due Oct 14) has spent a lot of time on my stereo this past week. You can download two tunes from the album at the top of this post -- they're both really good.

It was only after listening to -- and liking -- the album did I find out some interesting factoids about the band: Frontman Justin Kennedy spent his Seattle youth in Pinwheel, the "shitty punk band" that also featured Ben Gibbard; When their drummer left to pursue a screenwriting career (he's penning the Peter Berg-directed Dune redux, due in 2010), Attractions drummer Pete Thomas filled in on the stool for the album's recording sessions; and they're featured on the soundtrack to the music-obsessed comedy Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist which you might've seen a thousand commercials for already. And they're playing this week. - BrooklynVegan.com


"CMJ Review"

f you're diabetic, you may want to turn the volume down a bit. Otherwise, if your tolerance for candy pop perfection is high, dig into this self-released debut. Frontman Justin Kennedy once played in a Seattle band with Ben Gibbard, but has since departed for L.A., formed this dumbly named if smartly poppy bunch and landed a spot on the Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist soundtrack with probably numerous Target commercials to come. But since radio has given up entirely on mega-catchy guitar pop, and crafting crisp hooks is seen blog-wise as kitschy instead of fairly hard to accomplish, who knows how Army Navy's bubblegum will get chewed. The smile that rises from your gums when hearing this rec does not care for such careerist curiosity anyway, and only longs for more sing-song choruses like you get in spades here. Channeling Big Star's jangle'n'harmonize ("Dark As Days"), Teenage Fanclub's skybound melodies ("Saints"), Smiths' guitar hop ("My Thin Sides") and the pleather-punk push of Redd Kross or R.E.M.'s rural Rickenbackers—often all together in the taffy twister of each song—is timelessly satisfying. Exuberantly plowing through Maxine Nightingale's AM-pop gem of 1975, "Get Right Back" shows a command of cred nose-thumbing rare in most indie rock, but second nature to sunny day/smoochy night boys like these. Kennedy probably likes to think he's a budding Elvis Costello (and in fact, Attractions' drummer Pete Thomas drums here; the band has since found a permanent drummer), but Sondre Lerche is a few steps ahead of him in that department. For now, there's nothing wrong with claiming authorship of some of the brightest pop released this year.

Tracklist For Army Navy:

01. Dark As Days
02. My Thin Sides
03. Saints
04. Slight Of Hand
05. Unresponsive Ears
06. Snakes Of Hawaii
07. Ignite
08. Pocket Boys
09. Jail Is Fine
10. In The Lime
11. Golden Pony
12. Get Right Back (Bonus Track) - CMJ Magazine


"Beyond Race Magazine Album Review"

Army Navy
Army Navy
9.3

Army Navy handles their gloom with a pop sweetness that would make Morrissey proud. The lush harmonies and sweet guitar jangles bring to mind bands like Teenage Fanclub and The Posies. The legendary drumming contributions of Pete Thomas only adds to the awe factor. This band is going to be huge. - Beyond Race Magazine


"Filter Magazine"

Army Navy, My Thin Sides MP3
by Staff | 10.27.2008

There's something irrefutably charming about Los Angeles indie pop outfit, Army Navy. Perhaps it's the saccharine vocals of lead singer Justin Kennedy or the laid back California grooves. Whatever it may be, it's identifiably sunny and undeniably infectious.

The quartet just unleashed their self-titled debut record and their latest single offers the same good vibrations, even if the lyrics tell a different story. "My Thin Sides" relates the story of a drunken love affair gone sour. The aftermath of booze and the sting of loneliness, it's all there even if it's cloaked in charismatic melodies.

- Filter


Discography

Army Navy -TBD LP3 (release Spring/Summer 2013)

Army Navy - Worlds End/Only You - Single, 7" (The Fever Zone)

Army Navy - The Last Place - LP2 (The Fever Zone)

Army Navy Self Titled LP1 (The Fever Zone)

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist Soundtack

Perfect As Cats "A Cure Tribute"

Saints/Right Back 7" Single (Club Fandango UK)

Photos

Bio

"The playing's always spirited, producer Adam Lasus lends the disc a warm, ingratiating sound, and the songs are both taut and well-considered in their arrangements.” - Pitchfork
“Pure pop for now people” – SPIN, 8 out of 10
“A feel-bad record you can actually feel good about.” – SPIN, 8 out of 10
“in the grand power-pop traditions of Shoes, Material Issue and the Fountains of Wayne, wallowing here is delivered with buoyancy.” – LA Times
"A poisoned Valentine dripping with equal parts beauty and scorn; imagine a Vulcan mind-meld between Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque and Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear and you're there.""- eMusic
“The Last Place” (The Fever Zone), solidifies Kennedy’s credentials as a pop-rock aficionado who aspires to write chiming, guitar-stoked melodies in the mold of prime Badfinger, Teenage Fanclub and Shoes.” – Chicago Tribune, 3 out of 4
“Bounding jangle-pop guided by Kennedy’s plaintive, searching vocals” - Rolling Stone
"If you loved the shimmering guitars and hooks-for-days approach of the band’s debut, you’ll find even more to love here: angelic choruses, pristine hooks and heartsick lyrics, all making for the absolute ideal summer record."- eMusic

Off the success of Army Navy’s self-released debut album the band entered 2010 with their strongest batch of songs to date and were able to self-finance the recording of their 2nd album. With a strong vision of the album in mind, they once again called upon producer and engineer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo, Helium) to help bring these songs to life. “We felt like we had all grown individually and as a group and we wanted that to show on this recording. We were more confident in the studio and as a band. I felt more open to write the most personal songs I have ever written” says Justin Kennedy, songwriter and frontman. The band worked for 6 months recording and mixing and pouring their hearts into the process. Creating an album with intricate arrangements, beautiful sounds, layered melodies, tight harmonies and full of catchy hooks. “We had created a sound that was super unique, and our focus, creativity and inspiration had created something bigger than all of us…a classic pop masterpiece!” says Lasus. The album is The Last Place.

Army Navy was born in the bedroom of Justin Kennedy, who in his early days played with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) in Seattle’s Pinwheel. Having relocated to Los Angeles after Pinwheel broke up, Kennedy began focusing on his new project and started assembling members for Army Navy. Multi-instrumentalist Louie Schultz joined swiftly after hearing Kennedy’s home demos. Without a permanent sticks man at the time of recording the first album, Army Navy’s album boasted drumming by the legendary Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello and The Attractions, who had been a longtime fan of the band. Army Navy soon found their permanent drummer Douglas Randall.

The past few years were very exciting for the independent band. Army Navy released their first (Lasus produced) album on their own Fever Zone Label in 2008 and quickly garnered great admiration from fans and in the press. CMJ called it “..some of the brightest pop released this year”. The quartet’s first single “My Thin Sides,” which was paired with a hilarious video featuring Paul Scheer of Human Giant took the blogosphere by storm. The second single “Saints” which Blender Magazine called “a lovely indie-rock swoon” was the prestigious Single Of the Week on iTunes Australia and was released on the UK’s Fierce Panda’s Club Fandango Label. Stateside, it gained radio rotation on tastemaker stations like KEXP and KNRK and satellite radio’s indie-leaning XMU station.

The band found success in the placement world as well. The indie rock date-flick Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist prominently featured two Army Navy songs alongside artists like Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse and The National; one of the songs being an exclusive track for the movies soundtrack. They have also been featured in the Shrek Forever After theatrical trailer, Beastly Film and Soundtrack, The Bachelor ABC TV commercial, and shows like: Weeds, The OC, Numbers, Greek, and many more.

Over the past few years the band have taken their dynamic live show on the road supporting such groups as: The Lemonheads, Arctic Monkeys, The Dodos, The Soft Pack, The Like, and Cut Copy; as well as explosive shows at SXSW and CMJ and the UK’s Truck festivals. The band was even asked to be musical guests on the short-lived Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien!

The new album “The Last Place was released exclusively through the eMusic “Selects” program on June 14th and went to #1 on the weekly charts and is #5 on the monthly charts! The album will be released everywhere July 12th through the bands Fever Zone label!

Army Navy was born in the bedroom of Justin Kennedy, who in his early days played with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) in Seattle’s Pinwheel. Having relocated