The Stutters

Viva la Stutters

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Though most of the Stutters are from Amsterdam, their debut EP, Viva la Stutters, would fit neatly into the post-Franz Ferdinand wave of tightly wound, jittery U.K. guitar bands. A bit too neatly, in fact: this five-song EP bursts with punky, danceable energy, but the songs themselves mostly don't engage the listener beyond their surface charms. The big exception is the brash single "The Oh Lisa Song," where all the pieces come together: singer/songwriter Mical Noelson's strangulated vocals are matched to the album's catchiest melody, with a memorable chorus enlivened by a simple but perfectly deployed three-beat snare-tattoo hook. The remaining four songs blur past in a rush of Peter Hook-style melodic basslines, hyperactive drums, scratchy guitar riffs, and casual profanity; only the half-speed intro and jaunty bounce of "Yes Hat/No Hat" differentiates them, and that song lacks much to recommend it beyond its comparative novelty. The appeal of "The Oh Lisa Song" cannot be denied -- it's a genuinely good piece of neo-Brit-pop -- but if the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand are the Oasis and Blur of this scene, then the Stutters are its Menswe@r: one great albeit disposable single and out.

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