The Differents

Scratch

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If one is going to call one's band the Differents, it's a good idea for the band to actually be different. Guitarist Stanley Walter and drummer Peter R, collectively known as the Differents, make a mildly naïve clatter that's neither as artless as Half Japanese nor as mysterious as Yo la Tengo, the two obvious points of comparison. Both sing, with Walter taking the majority of the leads (Peter's lead vocal showcase, "Shirley," is one of the album's low points; Walter is clearly the better singer), and the pair seems to share the same set of influences, with the third Velvet Underground album and Jerry Harrison-era Modern Lovers out front and center. Kramer's typically low-key production suits the duo's stripped-down sound quite well; there's very little overdubbing here, which gives the songs a skeletal feel that suits the tending-toward-darkness lyrics. The opening "The Smallest Disaster" and the rockabilly-tinged "Useless" are the immediate standouts, but much of the album sort of blends together even on a careful listen.

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