The Bright Lights and What I Should Have Learned

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On its full-length debut, THE BRIGHT LIGHTS AND WHAT I SHOULD HAVE LEARNED, Duels comes across like the fellow British group Maximo Park on a heavy dose of downers. Led by plaintive-voiced frontman Jon Foulger and his guitarist brother Jim, the Leeds-based quintet excels at crafting gloriously melancholy songs (see the shimmering, upbeat "Brothers and Sisters" and "The Slow Build," a wistful Psychedelic Furs-like tune), often aiming for the widescreen scope of the venerable Manchester act Doves, most notably on the synth-laden "Once in the Night." Fans of the aforementioned ensembles will likely find Duels to be a kindred spirit without sounding derivative, making it a considerable standout amongst the crowd of U.K. post-punk-influenced bands.

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