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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Fletch Fetch

DovesSome CitiesCapitol

Two and a half stars

Manchester’s Doves seek Brit-pop glory, but Brit-pop glory is an elusive honor: Coldplay stripped it naked, Muse dressed it up like a rock ‘n’ roll cosmonaut and Radiohead shot it into space. The members of the Doves do their best to fly out and stake claim, but just can’t break free of their Union Jack trappings. The delay-drenched atmosphere of “Ambition” soaks Doves’ latest-endeavor, Some Cities, in a dense fog of Radiohead-adoration, while “One of These Days” introduces the world to Chris Martin’s stunt double. “The Storm’s” ghostly trip-hop blows inter-stellar winds Doves way, and while Some Cities doesn’t show these Doves taking flight, by the grace of God the band might one day ride them to long-sought majesty. Maybe on their next record.

Fog10th Avenue FreakoutLex Records

Three out of five stars

Fog mastermind Andy Broder programs ballads of electronic eccentricity that flirt with both brilliance and banality, all-the-while painting a portrait of a lonely genius locked in his tiny bedroom, immersed in Pro-Tools and self-pity. 10th Avenue Freakout paints humble electro-landscapes that possess the heart-on-your-keyboard emotion of The Postal Service (“We’re Winning”) alongside the heart-on-your-funny-bone quirks of Atom & His Package (“Hummer”), and leaves an endearingly sweet aftertaste in listeners’ mouths. However, too much sugar causes tooth decay, and as “O Telescope” makes a tear-jerking apology to…a telescope, teeth (and patience) begin to rot.

Kings of LeonAha Shake Heartbreak RCA Records

Four out of five stars

The Kings of Leon are The Strokes, only hailing from Tennessee instead of New York, and raised on Gram Parsons and Skynard instead of Lou Reed and Bowie. That is, Kings of Leon play rock ‘n’ roll for the sake of rock ‘n’ roll’s dying soul. Dusting off the backwoods flannel of their debut, Aha Shake Heartbreak models a wardrobe of proto-punk jams, accessorized with Delta-blues and rock-roots. Caleb Followill’s David Byrne-meets-Deliverance shout-and-squalor routine strikes a post-punk chord over the Talking Heads-ish art-funk of “Razz,” but still manages to invoke the toothless-ghosts of hometown Nashville, as the Southern-fried “Four Kicks,” taunts, “You with your switchblade posse/ I’ll get my guns from the South/ We’ll take to the yard like a cockfight/ Four kicks, who’s strutting now?” If that doesn’t save some souls, rock ‘n’ roll is doomed.

The Mars VoltaFrances the MuteUniversal

Four and a half out of five stars

Having taken the better part of the talent-and undeniably the best hair-dos-from quintessential pioneering prog-rockers At The Drive-In, the members of The Mars Volta have done well to solidify themselves as a staple of the envelope-pushing modern scene.Frances the Mute pushes the band’s unconventionality to the edge, managing to break new sonic ground, even for a band that is known best for always breaking new sonic ground. The cut “Cassandra Gemini” lays a Zamfir-esque mastery of the pan flute and saxophone la the most eccentric works of Miles Davis over a refrain so insurgent that one will want to lay a haymaker on Zamfir for never utilizing his skills this well. The 13-minute opus “Cygnus, Vigmund, Cygnus” may tread a step too deep into prog’s masturbatory narcissism for the average Joe, but is rescued by its humble punk angst. So much could be said for the whole album. Solid.

Over ItSilverstrandLobster Records

One out of five stars

Pop-punk’s legacy of sugar-buzzed adolescence has wreaked havoc within our nation’s collective subconscious for more than a decade now, and Over It has inherited its candy throne. The heavy-on-the-pop pop punk of these O.C. transplants enlists hooks so sharp that when Silverstrand digs its TRL-bound sing-a-longs into one’s psyche, prayers for death will surely ensue. Plagued by overproduction, the band’s punk spirit is tamed to the point of complete pop submission. The aftermath witnesses the Epitaph-punk of “Ignore the Noise” and the metal-tinged “Waiting” watered down to the lowest common denominator of radio rock (cough, cough, Hoobastank). Never has punk rock sounded so not punk.Dan Fletcher

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