[18 May 2008]
Time-machine hire must be filthy lucre in the music business. No sooner are the Scissor Sisters back from raiding Elton John’s 1974 wardrobe than Vampire Weekend are popping back to the mid-‘80s to spy on Paul Simon’s sessions for Graceland. Brooklyn’s the Diggs have welcomingly revisited a Boston campus circa 1992, loaded up with infectious college rock, and scarpered before Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando are any the wiser. And an impressive booty it is. Buffalo Tom-style melodies soar and skyscrape. Super-fuzz guitars jangle along like J Mascis. Vocals stir introspectively. If at times the early ‘90s anthemia of “This Emphatically” and “Recovery Forever” sound like they’re looking for a My So-Called Life scene to soundtrack—which is no bad thing—Ctrl-Alt-Del is not just a nostalgic trip to a Sugar show. The Diggs have got more than their fair share of contemporary awareness—the sly hint of the fine side of emo litters the record—while the lifting shoegaze of “You Really Used to Light Up the Room” should be enough to light up anyone’s life.