So Gone

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Especially since this young trio hails from Oklahoma, the first reaction to hearing the Evangelicals' So Gone is "Wow, it's the indie kid brothers of the Flaming Lips!" That does this fine album a strong disservice, however, if only because there are lots of other bands that the Evangelicals channel, including Broken Social Scene, Grandaddy, and Neutral Milk Hotel. This is an excellent set of influences to have, and the Evangelicals do them proud by adding a big dose of pop songwriting smarts along with the atmospheric arrangements and cool neo-psych sounds. Note the way "Another Day" moves from a dazed, woozy verse to a chiming singalong chorus by way of a double-time bridge that features all manner of bizarre noises, or how album standout "Hello Jenn, I'm a Mess" blends pure pop hooks with Pavement-style slack. The band's influences do tend to come to the surface in undigested lumps ("Into the Woods" sounds oddly like Stereolab at their prettiest), and singerJosh Jones' high warble of a voice will be instantly familiar to any fan of Wayne Coyne or Jason Lytle. However, those are the minor flaws of a promising young band, and So Gone reveals their potential to do better still.

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