This arty, Beatles-ish band produces well-crafted pop songs that recall Sloan, Ben Folds and especially the New Pornographers with the male/female lead singers showing their chops on “Dr. Vitus Werdegast” and the equally pleasing “English As a Second Language” with its layered harmonies and sweet, sugar-coated melodies. The album takes an up-tempo swing with “The Bone Is the Orbital Planet of the Nerve” which is a choppy, punchy romp. And lead singer Kelly Atkins seems to have no problem sounding like Neko Case on the gorgeous “Automatic Pilot”. Following the slow dance feel of “Empire”, 20 Minute Loop put the spring back in this album’s step with “Latin Names and Straight Pins”. Even the somber, sullen “The Kirkbride Plan” shines.
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