Like so many pop-in-theory indie acts, Hitchhike
doth hold back too much. The trebly tension in "It's You and Me," for one, never gets the chance to build or break out at 3:18. And as befits a man who wears socks in Austin, Texas, vocalist/guitarist Kyle Barnett sings more as a matter of course than from a desire to bare his essentials, although other vocalist/guitarist John Alderson (one can never have too many) wears some attractive scars on his voice. But as you listen closer, a more exciting tension arises between groove and song. Every track on this how-do-you-do EP gets its Velvets dance on, largely courtesy of drummer Lisa Barnett, who has her Moe Tucker down. And yet every track can be neatly divided up into verses and choruses, with the modest production putting catchy backup vocals and generous guitar hooks into relief. In the end, your mind wanders between these two registers instead of onto what you need to do today. And thus the band's intense, methodical concentration becomes its own reward. If they ever hit that groove on the one and the three and give bassist Jonathan Elbom something to do besides marking time, they could become a major threat.