Dreamers of the Ghetto


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That Dreamers of the Ghetto should start their 2011 release with a stretched-out shimmer pitched halfway between My Bloody Valentine's most serene moments and what could be Vangelis' in turn seems perfectly apt -- which makes it a bit of a pity when "Antenna" ends and the raspy-voiced, roughly mechanistic "State of a Dream" rocks and chugs along, as it's a bit like interrupting a flight to the Moon with a retro beer commercial. This kind of grilled cheese/peanut butter sandwich combination isn't unprecedented per se, but where a band like Working for a Nuclear Free City often let loose to the full on all fronts and the War on Drugs continued to refine their Dylan-does-space-rock approach over time, Enemy/Lover rapidly shows signs of being just another big-and-anthemic indie rock album of the 21st century, however keyboard swells and drones arc around the arrangements and sometimes, as on "Always," see it out on a nice final note. If anything, the full-bodied embrace of the scale if not exact sound of late-'80s/early-'90s Simple Minds and James as well as U2 shows a band that has learned its sonic lessons almost unnervingly well. "Night Hawks," with its simple but effective clipped guitar hook and deep keyboards, does the job nicely, while singer Luke Jones' rough-edged voice is all about passion in a particular sense of the word, delivering up lyrics like "Walk through the fields until they come to you" with the appropriate flecks of messianism. But as the album concludes somewhere in the seventh minute of "Tether," all the aim-for-the-heights stuff they're about just becomes its own locked-in loop, an epicness that feels less remarkable than simply familiar.

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