The Warren Commission

Tricked by Cleverness

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    8
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Saturated with nearly picture perfect, infectious rock riffs, and a slight dose of some new wave layering, the record seems to dance off the disc player. Influences range from Juliana Hatfield and Blake Babies, to the tight pop rhythms of Elastica and Blondie. The tempo slows down slightly on the melodic lullaby, "Very Nothing," but it's a nice change of pace. Brief but infectious, a number of the songs have great radio-friendly arrangements, particularly the wordy "Finding Hearts; Hot Glued and Stitched Behind," which could be mistaken for a 10,000 Maniacs cover. The closing song's dirge-like atmosphere isn't characteristic of the otherwise uplifting and bouncy beats oozing from this baker's dozen of tracks. Lead singer Sarah Dudek has a fragile and ethereal quality to her voice; soft but quite sturdy during "Minute Murder." Also beneficial is the number of small yet interesting twists in each song, both in tempo and intensity. A miscue occurs in "R.G. Conspiracy," which mixes a slow arrangement with a brief rap segment resembling Madonna's "Vogue." Highlighted by the stellar "Automated Lies," which follows a bland effort, the song soars to new heights. The group is very tight throughout the record, but allows for some improvisational ideas in "A.B.T.," a distinctive-sounding song. Only on "Cru Is Dead" does the group emit the aura of a band surviving on well-trodden, cliché-sounding melodies.

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