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CD $9.50

03/13/2007 655035021829 

BOO 1218 


Peel's debut album bursts with the kind of loose energy only young bands exude, yet the songs belie a cerebral approach to lyrics and songwriting that usually takes years to mature. These songs are immediate and timeless, nostalgic yet hopeful, teeming with sunny regret. And they f'n rock.  "If I had my way, I'd demolish every building of rock polished to shine so bright, like headlights in the day time...." begins "Oxford," the album-opener. This semi-nihilistic line leads into a concise, two-minute pop song that climaxes almost as soon as it begins. Less a mission statement than a starting point for intellectual exploration, the tune is followed by the meandering introspection of "Bells" and the fist-pumping rejection of pastoral pining, "In the City."  Elsewhere, the boozy frustration of "Sliding Doors" gives way to hopeful resolution while "Workers, Wake Up!" imbues such self-affirmation with double-meaning all chanted over pulsing Krautrock fanfare. "1949" is a thinly veiled nod to Thomas Pynchon set to a bouncy Rhodes melody, and "Moxy Blues" is a noisy pop jam that could make even Eno and Ferry jealous.  Peel's youthful enthusiasm often handicaps their pursuit of the perfect three-minute pop song. Like a kid afflicted with ADD, the band can't write a beautiful song without resisting the temptation to destroy it with unhinged noise. This tension makes the album so compelling; it grabs you upon first listen and never lets go. 

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