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Liner Notes: CD Reviews

 by Ben Horowitz and Adriane Goetz
 published on Thursday, March 23, 2006


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Kickball
ABCDEFGHIJKickball
(Yo Yo Records)
Four out of five stars

Kickball's live performance is something like music class in elementary school. When they played in Phoenix a month ago, they passed out tiny percussion instruments to a handful of people in the audience and asked them to play along. On record, their songs are described by promoters as experimental pop -- which I guess is a nice way of saying "comfortably weird." Any expectations of song structure go out the window, with songs like "Party" seeming to float by the first time you hear them, almost like you never heard them at all, until they're stuck in your head a few hours later. The best comparisons might be the Talking Heads on happy pills or more recent scenester favorites, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, although any comparison inevitably comes up short. If you want a pleasantly challenging listen, check out this record.-- benjamin.horowitz@asu.edu

The Subways
Young for Eternity
(Sire Records)
Three and a half out of five stars

There's a fairly good chance you've heard the Subways' first single, "Rock & Roll Queen," by now, whether on the OC or MTV. Although this tune is undeniably catchy, it has that one-hit-wonder feel to it and therefore doesn't make you want to run out and buy the whole album. By some crazy twist of fate, however, Young For Eternity is actually quite good. The Oasis influence on "I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say" makes for the kind of great pop rock song that only UK bands can get away with. The male/female duet vocals on the upbeat track "Oh Yeah" sound a bit like The Kills if they switched from heroin to Red Bull, reason enough to buy this album. -- adriane.goetz@gmail.com



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