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Kiddo 

Kiddo (Drive In Records)

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The first full-length album from Kiddo should be enough to establish this bunch on a national level. Easily fulfilling the potential the band hinted at on its superb four-song sampler from late last year, Kiddo is a collection of near-perfect pop that helps make February feel like July.

Featuring vocals that alternate between guitarist Christian Doble and bassist Liz Wittman, the album is a sharp mix of bliss and backbone, with Doble's more sturdy timbre blending nicely with Wittman's candied yelp. Kiddo's songs range from hard-rockin' temper tantrums like "Amy" to a dash of introspection via the pensive "1992" to deliriously giddy tracks with deliriously giddy titles like "The Make Out Song." There are nine more numbers just as jubilant; they all come together to make Kiddo an early contender for local album of 2003.

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