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Steve Shiffman and the Land of No

(Tiny Beast; US: 20 Aug 2009; UK: Import)

Guitarist Steve Shiffman moved from Canada to New York City and soon found the other four members who comprise his backing band, the Land of No. At times employing a Ray Davies-like vocal swagger, Shiffman, along with his bandmates, conjure the freefall of Fleetwood Mac (“Ready for You Now”), the buzzing guitars of Pavement (“Here Comes the Cigarette Girl”), and the falsetto woo’s of Weezer (“Tweed Skirt”) on its self-titled debut. Shiffman also has some similar features with contemporary Benjy Feree, with his soft falsettos, theatricality, hand claps, and 1960s sound. Syncopated rhythms (“Death in the Newsgroup”) prove catchy, while raging-noise moments (“This Second”) rest comfortably next to quiet ballads (“Hollow Town”). That it was mixed by Bryce Goggin (Pavement and Akron/Family) and mastered by Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Nick Cave) should come as no surprise.

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