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The New Lou Reeds 

Top Billin' (Exit Stencil)

Comparisons to Pere Ubu dog the New Lou Reeds, but they're meant as compliments, and they're not unwarranted. David Thomas himself probably wouldn't mind being mentioned in the same breath as this postmodern blues trio. The many impatient ears that have found Ubu unlistenable should still give the band a chance, as should Black Keys fans. Breezing through heartland Americana, the freeform workouts run long, but they don't sprawl too badly, even in seven-minute shuffles like "Beautiful Women #2." Top Billin' is beautiful album #2.

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