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Alamo Race Track, ‘Black Cat John Brown’ (Minty Fresh)

Not a Nascar venue, but a polite Dutch rock band, Alamo Race Track bring a self-conscious detachment to their multicolored, carefully constructed, pop-leaning tunes. The foursome crib ideas from greats like Lou Reed (“My Heart”), the Replacements (“The Northern Territory”), and the Beatles (“On the Beach”), yet the songs remain stubbornly small-scale. Pale, shadowy voices sketch portraits of alienation-the lost soul resembling “a slightly wounded deer” or the loner who grumbles, “Keep this girl away from me” — casting a glum spell that’s hard to shake.

Now Hear This: Alamo Race Track – “Northern Territory” DOWNLOAD MP3