Issue May 7, 2013

Physical Education

House Ghost
DEAF EYE

Like a half-remembered episode of “Pete & Pete,” House Ghost’s Physical Education EP is a breezy and innocent helping of comfort food, bursting with the same oddball charm that made that TV show a cult favorite. And though steeped in the lineage of ’90s alt-rock radio, the group’s sense of mass-appeal melody recalls the music one might hear over the course of a Nick at Nite binge, from “Dick Van Dyke” all the way through “Happy Days.” Clear standout “Television” is an earworm begging for a commercial spot, but it’s the knowing, self-deprecating humor present in the lyrics that really sells it. Only on opener “Snacks for Two” does the band fumble, crossing that dreaded line from “cute” to “cutesy.” The cast of “Salute Your Shorts” understood that an awful waffle has to sting a little to be effective.