Bright Eyes and Neva Dinova, 'One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels' (Saddle Creek)

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One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels
Critical Mass
Label: Saddle Creek

by David Menconi

No matter which of these Omaha, Nebraska-bred bands is pouring on this oddly packaged collaboration-which augments a 2004 EP with four new tracks-the jug of wine served is unmistakably derived from the Cure. That's a rare reference point nowadays, but the new songs here could pass for a mini-tribute, from the propulsive clang of "Rollerskating" to the overall English boarding-school world-weariness of the lyrics ("You like the boys when they're scared of sex / What a shame they grow up to be men"). Oddly enough, the new songs' gloomy new-wave romanticism feels more convincing than the old songs' twangier tones.

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