Australia's Architecture in Helsinki aren't for self-involved indie esthetes. Irrepressibly fun and just a little bit dumb, they're kind of like the Wiggles for grownups. On the video for the addictive, defiantly simple-minded dance tune "Hold On" off 2007's Places Like This, the band's mixed-gender membership don cartoonish ponchos for a four-minute romp on those miniature trampolines favored by American cheerleading squads. On the ecstatic calypso march "Heart It Races," singer Kellie Sutherland sounds like she's shouting the tune's titular refrain while smacking on a wad of bubblegum.
Architecture in Helsinki don't know the meaning of the word "pretentious." Yes, chief songwriter Cameron Bird picked up stakes and moved to New York, but I don't think there's much chance that he'll be transforming himself into a desiccated NYC sophisticate anytime soon. He's far too addicted to the joyful side of musical expression.
Architecture in Helsinki certainly aren't the only indie-rockers who have moved away from studied navel-gazing to something more liberated and flamboyant. Bands like the U.K.'s Klaxons and Brazil's CSS get over with unhinged music that's as much about making an ecstatic noise as it is about setting pop hooks deep into the gray matter. But there's something artless and up front about Architecture in Helsinki that's particularly appealing. You get the impression that they're never happier than when a roomful of fans are wandering off the beam along with them.
Looking to escape reality for 80 minutes or so? (And who isn't?) They're sure to make most excellent tour guides.