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The Pernice Brothers, ‘Live a Little’ (Ashmont)

For nearly a decade, Joe Pernice’s poetic elegies have deftly blurred the line between soft-rock melancholia and murder-suicide notes. This time round, he offers swinging ’60s horns, “Bungalow Bill” bounce, and a chilling ballad that updates Bread’s request “to make it with you,” called naturally, “Grudge F*** (2006).” Startling turns of phrase (“She believes what doesn’t kill her only takes more time to kill her”) are just another of this stunning album’s grim charms.

Now Hear This:The Pernice Brothers – “Somerville” DOWNLOAD MP3

On of the Day: The Pernice Brothers

>> Listen to the Pernice Brothers on Napster