Smash Palace

Fast, Long, Loud

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Philadelphia's Smash Palace made a brief splash in 1985, when "Living on the Borderline" flirted with success on MTV, but living in the shadow of the Hooters with an eponymous album that owed as much to that band as it did the Psychedelic Furs wasn't easy and the band crumbled. Built on the axis of brothers Stephen Butler and Brian Butler -- who coincidentally share their surname with the Furs' Tim and Richard -- Smash Palace attempted an indie rebound a dozen years after their debut. And Fast, Long, Loud is a winning rock album with a more holistic approach than its glossy predecessor. The immediacy of "Another Man" and "Let Me Go" are no less appealing than early keepers like "Count the Days" and "Juliet to Me." "Try" and "Ancient Rhyme" are just as strong. Easygoing and skillfully crafted, Fast, Long, Loud is worth seeking out.

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