Various Artists

100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's

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Anyone tuning in and thinking that Sarandon embrace the poppy, sweet-as-pie side of Slumberland (as typified by the Aislers Set or Rocketship) will be set straight right off by the title the U.K. trio gave its first full-length album. Kill Twee Pop! is not the work of guys who worship Amelia Fletcher and want to spend all night folding 7" covers while listening to Beat Happening, and that's OK. Instead, it's the sound of angry, political musicians who aren't afraid to be fractured, jarring, and off-putting in the way past groups like obvious inspiration bIG fLAME and Fire Engines were. And really, it's not a huge surprise to find a band like that on Slumberland, considering they named an early label comp, Why Popstars Can't Dance, after a bIG fLAME track. So if you know you are getting light-speed strumming, off-kilter tempos, angular melodies, and commentary instead of jangle, fuzz, and love songs, then you may be able to embrace Sarandon for what they are instead of rebuffing them because of what you may have expected them to be. On the other hand, even if you know what you are getting, you may be left cold by the band's monochromatic production values, the sometimes obvious lyrics (picking on twee pop is really not very original), and the general lack of memorable songs. In fact, by the end of the record the skittery guitar (whose tone never varies) and flat vocals become wearisome, which is certainly far from what the band intended. With some variation in sound and some tighter songs, the band could make a good record, but as it stands, when you need jittery, awkward post-punk with extra bile, you'll be far more likely to turn to bIG fLAME or Fire Engines than to Sarandon.

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