Add Airlines to the list of promising New York area bands (at last, there is a small crop). Theirs is a sprightly, minimalist pop, the occasional one-chord drone uplifted by loping bass, boppin' snare hits, and caustic guitar lines that encircle that steady bass. The playing is crisp -- former Kraut producer Ryk Oakley gives them a tight mix -- and there are simple but effective ideas running all over the spaces this economical quintet leaves. Like the late-'70s Wire, to whom they might be compared (as well as all the U.S. West Coast pop minimalists they inspired, such as Urinals/100 Flowers, the Sleepers, Flyboys, later Middle Class, etc.), nothing is chunky, yet the sound has depth, and the post-R.E.M./Libertines picked guitars never fail to invigorate and take unexpected paths. John Tanzer's voice reminds a tad of the Cars' Ric Ocasek (which is no bad thing), and there's even the added bonus of a sweet viola on four tracks -- more indie bands should use strings. Investigate.
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