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Pas/Cal, ‘I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura’ (Le Grand Magistery)

After three charming EPs, some thought that this band’s Queen- meets–Belle and Sebastian songwriting might make for the next Great American Pop Album. Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura doesn’t match the hype, but it’s still an ambitious mess of wordy melodies, whistle-along detours, and multipart epics that recall nothing so much as Mansun’s schizophrenic ’90s Britpop. Herky-jerky dynamics and ADD bombast only succeed when executed with purpose; the problem with Pas/Cal is that they’re talented hook-writers who never quite justify their crafty excesses.