With simple melodies and sardonic lyrics, Archie Powell and the Exports' new album, Great Ideas in Action, may well be the soundtrack to this summer. The group released its first EP (Loose Change) in 2009, and its debut album, Skip Work, followed a year later. Skip Work was praised for its addictive hooks, lyrical wit and sophistication. Buried beneath catchy, raucous rock 'n' roll, the album's emotional content reflected the nervous energy and anxiety that the band members say they felt graduating college.
On their second album, Archie Powell and the Exports sound more self-assured, but Great Ideas in Action retains the youthful quality that made Skip Work so endearing. It seems that the band has settled into its groove and focused on perfecting its craft: the sort of self-aware, semi-serious songs that demand comparison to early Weezer and Elvis Costello. Hear "Metronome" and "Bending over Backwards" on today's episode of World Cafe: Next.