Downtown

Downtown

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From New York City by way of Detroit, the duo known as Downtown -- comprised of Bob Kaeding and Eric Brendo -- fuse elements of modern rock and electronic music with often exhilarating results on its self-titled debut. Helped out by famed producers Flood and Alan Moulder (who count U2, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails to their credit), plus one-time Curve frontwoman Toni Halliday, the material boasts a blurry, shoegazer feel, but it's steeped in the techno world as well. Lush and melodic, tunes like "Thunderstorm" and the single-worthy "Twilight" are as gripping as they are palatable. If the latter comes off like the First and Last and Always-era of the Sisters of Mercy fronted by Simon Lebon, the more immediate, airwave-ripe vibe of "Nowhere to Hide" asserts the pair's wide range. Things don't always click, however, as the sluggish atmospherics of "Darker Than a Heart" affirm, but most often Downtown's musical trip is worth taking.

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