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Hailing from Linz, Austria (home of the delicious Linzer Torte, as these guys are probably sick of being reminded), Valina get their first proper introduction to the U.S. market with this five-song EP on the willfully strange 54-40 or Fight! label. The band and the label are a match made in heaven: as they have demonstrated on two previous full-length albums released in Europe, Valina specialize in quirky, intelligent rock & roll that walks a wobbly line between art skronk and guitar pop. "Eriny" sounds like a less overwrought version of Mission of Burma; "81 Men Without a Memory" is quite pretty, despite its really awful lyrics, and features both some very graceful string bass playing and a nifty backwards-drums coda. "Escort of Soda" starts off sounding like a guy singing in the men's room, then turns into a noisy saxophone workout. The album's final track sounds like a transcription of a Bach partita for string bass, but is actually an original composition titled, appropriately enough, "The Epilogue." Not bad at all.

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