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The Irish band Pugwash released several albums spanning about a decade in advance of Giddy, their first on Ape Records. It's a career-spanning compilation, also including two songs from a work in progress scheduled for 2010 release at the time this CD was issued in 2009. The group has some XTC connections via the presence of Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory on recordings and its affiliation with Partridge's Ape House label, so it's not too much of a surprise to find the material here something that XTC fans might appreciate in the mélange of vintage rock influences. Like many such bands, they don't do this with the skill of XTC. But listeners who like modern mash-up-like takes on mid-'60s to early-'70s forms of progressive pop/rock should enjoy Pugwash's well-produced songs, in which there are echoes of the melodies and harmonies of well-loved greats like the Beatles, Beach Boys, Byrds, Jeff Lynne in his Move/ELO days, and so forth. The lighter sides of these groups seem to be prevalent influences, with a number of softer/wistful/whimsical tunes in the style of Paul McCartney's folkier outings or the Beach Boys' mellower approach.

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