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Most groups that adopt the better attributes of other bands find their own material perpetually overshadowed. This isn't the case with Full Wave Rectifier.

Granted, the Kent band's latest EP recalls the Jesus and Mary Chain's stoned grandeur ("Metal Shell"), the Pixies' slippery surf guitar and ominous chord progressions ("Stop Signs & Purple Flowers"), and even Velocity Girl's pop savvy ("Hester"). But far from mere idol worship, Full Wave Rectifier keeps pace with its influences from start to finish. The album is all about tempering beauty with backbone, and it never succumbs to its charms (e.g., singer Mary Plazo's blithe vocals, a playful rhythm section); instead, the band grounds its whimsy in a spiky guitar crunch and airtight songwriting.

About the only complaint we have with the disc is its brevity. But until the band's next full-length comes along, we recommend riding this Wave for all it's worth.

Speaking of Regional Beat

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