The High-Back Chairs

Curiosity & Relief

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More pop-oriented fun from the High-Back Chairs on this follow-up EP to Of Two Minds, which, like its predecessor, is a good acid test to find out if a self-proclaimed Dischord obsessive really likes everything on the label. Only the most self-righteous hater of harmonies and just Anglophilic enough arrangements and delivery will find cause to complain, though. Hayes' summery voice makes for a lovely equivalent to such purveyors of sweet/sour sentiments as the Dentists or the Shoes, while musically everyone riffs along with the panache of Cheap Trick at its prime. Winners like "Share" and "FUJ" hit the right combination of smarts, good performance, and memorable melodies. "Unending" lets the foursome indulge a more melancholic bent, Hayes' lyrics addressing the need for personal connection like so many fellow labelmates, but delivered with a darker guitar shimmer over its easy groove.

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