But then, every once in a while, a band comes along that breathes new life into the truism that the U.S. and U.K. are two nations divided by a common language. We scratch our heads over why a band like Athlete, say, has caused such heart-racing over there, and the Limeys scratch their heads over how we are scratching our heads. Similarly, Athlete's Mercury Prize-nominated debut, Vehicles and Animals, suggests that the group is England's answer to Soul Coughing: In its Britpop-nostalgic way, the music dances merrily along that narrow line between catchy and cute, clever and precious, accomplished and unbelievably annoying. For Anglophiles only, in other words.
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