The Blue Aeroplanes


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Even on this compilation of stray tracks (truncated from the double-LP version on the British Fire Records label), it's easy to hear what fans and rock critics have been raving about with regard to the Blue Aeroplanes. With their guitar-dominated pop tunes and the half-spoken, extensively enjambed lyrics of Gerard Langley, they are solidly in the tradition of electric-Bob Dylan/Velvet Underground and all that came after, serious rock with all the pretensions. In a sense, this under-produced, inconsistent collection of minor tracks is a good place to start with them, the place where they are heard in their most idiosyncratic glory, borrowing riffs from the Who, doing a letter-perfect cover of Greenwich Village folk-rocker Willie Nile's "Old Men Sleeping on the Bowery," and succeeding (when they do) more on nerve than deliberation.

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