Brakesbrakesbrakes, 'Touchdown' (Fatcat)

Critical Mass
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by Lindsey Thomas

Since recording the seven-second "Cheney" (only lyric: "Stop being such a dick!") in 2005, these Englishmen have learned impulse control. Frontman Eamon Hamilton's playful yelp has given way to a sturdier sound, evident in the energetic riffs of interstellar love song "Don't Take Me to Space (Man)," the anthemic power-pop hooks of "Hey Hey," and the lush shoegaze drone of "Oh! Forever." But he remains as quirkily brash as ever: A Poconos swami tells of a thief and his child bride one the cover of indie-rock upstart Charles Douglas' "Ancient Mysteries," a track that gives Men Without Hats' "Pop Goes the World" an appealingly pessimistic twist.

Listen: Brakes, "Two Shocks" (DOWNLOAD MP3)

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