Their aesthetic is easy to admire: a U.K. two-piece (Alison Cotton and Mark Nicholas) who record their own brand of patented indie-folk on their own terms: writing their own songs, producing their own records, and selling straight-from-their-hard-drive CD-Rs at shows. What’s less admirable is the music itself: here is a band that—despite lovely touches of violin—writes the same songs over and over again: drawn-out, droning acoustic laments that maintain the sound of an “acoustic My Bloody Valentine” while retaining none of the dynamics. The group’s sound feels more fleshed out, however, when they give in to their itching psychedelic inclinations, particularly with “The Chameleon” (complete with wind-chime breakdown at the end), and the breathtaking instrumental piece “I Fear That I Have Lost My Way”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Left Outsides or their music; they just tend to implode with preciousness a majority of the time, eliciting more yawning fans than fawning ones.
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