It’s the damnedest thing: here’s a trio of Goth girls who worships the Smiths and release an album that cross-pollinates Bossanova-era Pixies with everything you’ve ever loved about the Breeders. The guitar playing is fast and furious, but it never gets too showy. “The Photographer” is pure Kim Deal adrenaline, while the handclap-led “In the Background” is double-time Interpol on Steve Albini ice skates. However, not all is well in the land of self-deprecation. “Mr. Chivalry” very much outstays its five minutes of running time (as does most of these songs, which could be trimmed by a minute to no harm), and often singer Nina Diaz’s vocals are a bit too low in the mix. (It’s for this reason that closing track “Simple Man” is nothing short of a revelation.) The simple acoustic-and-voice take is brilliant, letting Diaz touch all the notes that Karen O. keeps dreaming of hitting but never does. With as fully-formed a debut album as this, one can only wonder what wild grounds their sophomore effort will lead them towards.
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Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More