Rating (8.4)

To say that I have a little bias towards the Alligators would be an understatement. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and experiencing the sights and sounds of the scene from which they arose was ingrained in my adolescence.

To throw on Piggy & Cups is to plug Kitsap County into an amplifier. It's a place where everyone sooner or later will share a concert bill. And while they're at it, let a few influences rub off. The Alligators possess all the qualities of a great band: mimickry of the past (the Zombies, the Beach Boys), borrowing of the present (Radiohead, Spoon), and ultimately creating their own personalized sound while still fitting comfortably in a well-developed nook in the Puget Sound.

The band is at a conflict, though: without the scene, would they have the sound? Had they formed in another part of the country, hell, another part of the state, it's certain they'd be a completely different band. Though creative in their own right, the Alligators do owe a lot to the bustling, rain-drenched scene, and this album is a testament to that.

Their thick, sun-soaked harmonies, mix-worthy melodies, and overall pop mentality is cunning. Piggy & Cups is like pop art: destined to be enjoyed by the masses, and still authentically maintaining an original sense of organic creativity and humbleness. Even with a sound that could charm the world, the Alligators have the admirable ability to hold on to that small town venue appeal.