As evidenced by The Postelles' EP, White Night, these spunky New York indie-rockers seem to think a set of drums and guitars and a Brit-pop vinyl collection are all it takes to make music. Au contraire. Making music takes three steps. At least.
One: Worship pioneers of your designated musical genre - in the Postelles' case: the Police, the Kooks, the Strokes, and similar New Wave-experimental phenomenons.
Two: Learn to play an instrument and/or sing. Or master Auto-Tune. Or just shrug, "Hey, we're gritty and the off-key singing is a metaphor for cold government corruption and garage-rock chaos is my blanket."
Three: Fueled by your idols and muses, experiment until you find your own sound. Someone listening to your music should not completely confuse you with someone else. Imagine the embarrassment displayed in the Who Wore It Best pages in People. Two A-listers should avoid arriving at a swanky event in the same fuchsia Valentino gown. Likewise, a band's guitar reverb and syncopated back beat should pay homage to their genre, while reminding people why they are listening to them and not the masters who inspired them. Vanilla Ice might have legally gotten away with that heinous rip-off of "Under Pressure", but rock aficionados are still in an uproar.
As I enjoyed the four frisky jams on the Postelles' EP, I mindlessly assumed the disc was a side project of a Vampire Weekend member. White Night (Capitol) has three decent tracks and a pleasant remix, none of them inspired enough to become a stand-out single. Yes, my foot was tappin', and yes, I caught myself muttering along with the repetitive choruses ("sleep on the dance floor, sleep on the dance floor"...as if that is ever possible, by the way...unless your at a retirement center polka party). But you can't tell me you didn't think you were listening to the Kooks at least half the time, too.
The Postelles have clearly mastered the first two steps of good music-making, but until they begin to sound unique, they'll have trouble finding a place for themselves in music history.