Short band sets are great -- there's no time to start thinking about where you'd rather be than a gallery or a smoky bar. Short songs and short records -- more EPs, please -- are often long on charm. Short people, too, I'm told, have their job to do in this dirty old world. And for those of us with short attention spans for twee-pop, Brooklyn's caUSE co-MOTION! comes prepared for just such an eventuality.
With two songs clocking in at barely three minutes combined, the band's "Which Way Is Up?" single seems like not nearly enough music to justify slaughtering all the little wild vinyls it took to make the 7-inches. But there are loads of bouncy hooks jacked into those three minutes, with the herky-jerky glee that's earned caUSE co-MOTION! comparisons to Television Personalities and The Pastels.
"Which Way Is Up?" itself nicks that stop-start rhythm from The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry" as the Clash-y guitars clatter amid lo-fi Phil Spector percussion. The band's singer, Arno, could pass for a wobblier Joey Ramone in both sound and substance when he sings, "Have another drink, try to get it out of your mind / Here comes the morning, tell me do you feel alright?"
The single's a recent release on What's Your Rupture?, a primarily vinyl micro-label based in New York City, among platters by Sweden's excellent groovesters Love Is All, England's The Long Blondes and Comet Gain (from all over the place). All this goodness is now available for futurists on the label's Imagine the Shapes CD compilation.
Trying to make mindlessly fun, old-timey music often comes across as forced. But with caUSE co-MOTION! there's enough melancholy tucked into the chiming guitars to balance the giddiness -- perhaps the result of living with such an extravagantly quixotic musical pursuit.
caUSE co-MOTION! with Japanther, Tyvek, Blankket and Flak. 10 p.m. Thu., Jan. 18. Gooski's, 3117 Brereton Ave., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658