3:47 EST

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Once all of the hype about Klaatu being the Beatles is disregarded, 3:47 EST (aka Klaatu) surfaces as an entertaining debut album made up of light, harmonic pop songs which harbor a little bit of a progressive rock feel in a few spots. Because the album revealed no information about the band whatsoever, this fueled accusations by newspaper reporter Steve Smith that the band was actually the Beatles' pseudo group, and there's no denying that the similarities are bewildering. But Klaatu was actually three studio musicians from Toronto, fronted by drummer and singer Terry Draper. Klaatu's "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" became a Top 40 hit for the Carpenters in 1977, but the other tracks from the band's debut are just as congenial if not more compelling. Composed of poppy horn work and inventive instrumentation, tracks like "California Jam" and the quaint- sounding "Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby" (which sounds like an early Genesis title) offer up a unique blend of bright, glistening strings and placid vocals. The lengthy and progressively cosmic "Little Neutrino" is a an entertaining instrumental stew that beautifully wanders about in almost free-formed style, while "Anus of Uranus" and the most commercial-sounding track, "Sub Rosa Subway," reveal Draper's songwriting prowess. While 3:47 EST is Klaatu's strongest release from nearly every aspect, their second album, entitled Hope, contains less of a pop-infused recipe but has greater progressive depth and leans toward more of an experimental sound, especially where the instruments are concerned.

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