While creating their new album, Model, Wallows vocalist/guitarists Braeden Lemasters, Dylan Minnette and drummer/guitarist Cole Preston reunited with the Nothing Happens producer, John Congleton (St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten), to craft what would be the songs for their third studio album. The band let the music flow right though them by allowing the songs to become the best version of themselves, while not forcing the direction. “Every song started with the three of us playing live in a room, keeping it very simple and sticking with our instincts as much as possible,” says Minnette. “We ended up leaving in a lot of the mistakes and flubs, so even though it’s the most slick we’ve ever sounded it’s also the most honest.” By sticking to their comfort zones, while still adding new elements to their sound, Wallows have made a memorable artistic statement on Model.

The set starts off on the right foot with lead single, “Your Apartment,” that features a repetitive, spiraling guitar riff before drummer Cole Preston adds a unique beat to the track to round things out. The chorus of, “Who said I don’t understand / Or that I probably won’t remember / Time in the palm of your hand / We both let go together / But I promise, I get your sentiment / I wonder who’s been at your apartment / Would you give in, or would you relent? / Who’s been tryin’ to get in your bed?” recalls the dangers of trusting the wrong person in a relationship. Wallows are at their best when they trust their musical instincts and let the songs never overstay their welcome. “Anytime, Always” follows the raucous opener with a steady beat, and the sound is reminiscent of early-Weezer paired with the indie guitar-pop of Ash. The bridge features some hand claps that is sure to invigorate the crowds they’ll be playing too starting this August.

”Calling After Me” is one of the strongest songs on the album, even if it feels simplistic in its construction. Carving out a great guitar/pop song is an art form, and Wallows do it well. The shimmering guitar riff in the beginning of the track and in between the verses is well thought out, and lends itself well to the song. While the second verse of, “Don’t play dumb, I know you fantasize / You could have me on my back every night / I don’t mind the things that you’ve been doing / Think you need someone like me to get through it,” finds the vocalist conflicted in his role of being the one this person relies on to get through tough times. “Bad Dream” features some drowned out percussion in the mix, while some keys and guitars take center stage as the band harmonizes on the hook of, “Are you having a bad dream, baby? / Tossing, turning in our sheets lately / Are you having a bad dream, baby? / I want to wake you, but you won’t let me.”

The middle section of Model picks up some steam on “A Warning,” that puts the spotlight directly on an electric bass line that reverberates off of the speakers. The second verse of, “Oh, I could’ve saw the spark in your eyes fading / All these steps that I’m retracing / Till I get lost, and time stops forever / Feel like I’m locked, but you’re not, you’re better,” recalls the signs of a relationship nearing its end, while the band still takes everything in stride. Other experimental songs like “I Wouldn’t Mind” are a bit of a mixed bag, with some strange time signatures and a bizarre vibe to it. Luckily, Wallows reach back into their comfort zone on “You (Show Me Where My Days Went)” that features bright-sounding guitars, paired with falsetto vocals on the chorus, to make for a worthy summer jam. “Canada” would’ve fit well on Wallows’ Tell Me That It’s Over record, as it has a familiar feel to the direction the band took on their sophomore effort, yet it still is welcome on Model since it mixes up the vocal cadence to avoid the trap of the songs sounding too similar.

The gradual unfolding on “Don’t You Think Its Strange?” is a nice departure from the sound the band went for in the early stages of the record, while “She’s An Actress” has a really cool, synth-laden vibe to the guitar parts to paint with wide, vivid colors in its delivery. The unique beats/percussion found on this track will likely be expanded upon during the band’s live shows, as it would lend itself well to an extended drum solo. The penultimate song, “Going Under,” didn’t do much for me, but it did show that the band had a clear vision in mind for their sound on Model. “Only Ecstasy” is a dreamy, starry-eyed ballad to close out this latest chapter of Wallows discography, and finds the band gushing with newfound love as they sing repetitiously on the chorus, “You are my only ecstasy / You are the only one for me.” It’s a charming way of rounding out the pop-based indie rock sound that Wallows are doing just about as well as anyone else in the scene, and Model certainly won’t dissuade any longtime fans of the band from eating up the new material.