Open On Sunday
Intellectual House of Pancakes
Financed by online donations and pre-orders, Paula Carino’s Open On Sunday is a small pop gem, fourteen guitar-driven songs that further establish Carino as one of the leaders of the Brooklyn indie music scene. An inventive lyricist quick to turn a phrase upside down and inside out, Carino was raised in New Jersey, which figures prominently in the album’s opener, “(Mother I Must Go To) Maxwell’s,” about the popular music club in Hoboken. Backed by Ross Bonadonna on lead guitar, Andy Mattina on bass, and Tom Pope on drums, a threesome that has been known as the Scurvy Merchants and the Virtually Spotless, Carino is brash and unapologetic on the album, singing about teen frustration, betrayal, and trust in a voice reminiscent of Linda Thompson’s. “He told me it was over / but it’s never over for me,” she sings on “Lucky in Love,” announcing, “I’m a field full of four-leaf clover / and I will kiss every fish in the sea.” Later, she pulls off the improbable triple rhyme of “surface / service / epidermis” on “Sensitive Skin,” in which she name-checks New York City subway dermatologist Dr. Zizmor. She gets bluesy on “Road to Hell,” goes a little punk on the way-too-short “Robots (Helping Robots),” and shares sweet harmonies with Rebecca Turner on “With the Bathwater” and Erica Smith on “Lucky in Love” and the album closer, titled, appropriately enough, “Closed on Sunday.” Things might not always work out for the best in her well-told musical tales, but she means well, explaining in “Road to Hell,” “I’ve got good intention deficiency disorder.” There’s nothing deficient about Open On Sunday.