This album is the perfect soundtrack to those long forgotten Super 8 films squirreled away in your grandma's attic. The LP transports the listener to simpler times, when love and its fellow concerns seemed to be all that mattered. The opener, "Leave It Be," jangles and lolliwoggles into 1960s lo-fi garage pop territory and seems instantly recognizable, like the essence of pop music cooked down to its barest elements. With a hint of blues in the harp playing and distant, fuzzed out vocals, it's hard not to imagine an afternoon spent holding Olivia d'Abo's hand in knee-deep grass.
It's worth mentioning that The Be Helds–a local band–are a duo made up of drums and guitar. What they lack in numbers they make up for with hooks-a-plenty and charming, "aw shucks we're just a couple of happy boys" vocals, as in "Whose Afternoon." This track is forlorn and lonesome and hopeful all at the same time. Its appeal lies in the lockstep simplicity of the drums and the minor crescendo of warbling "woos" that end the song. Like the best music, Volume I transports you to another world, a world made up of the grainy footage of nearly forgotten memories.
The Be Helds play an album release show at the Top Hat Friday, Jan. 6, at 9 PM with The Skurfs, Ancient Forest and Jacob Milestone. $3.