Lifter Puller

Fiestas + Fiascos

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    9
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It's appropriate that Lifter Puller started in Boston and moved to Minneapolis, because their smirky and clattering take on post-Pavement indie rock channels both Boston art rock punks like Human Sexual Response, and the angular, danceable new wave of Minneapolis' late great Suburbs. Like the Humans' Larry Bangor and the Suburbs' Beej Chaney, singer Craig Finn has a unique and, on occasion, profoundly irritating voice. However, he's lost some of the obnoxious lounge lizard tendencies that made Lifter Puller's early singles so irritating, and the fuller arrangements and more fractured song structures -- two-thirds of these songs are well under three minutes -- keep even his most mannered vocals in the background. On songs like the organ-driven rocker "Space Humping $19.99," the overall effect is most agreeable to indie fans with fond memories of the pre-MTV '80s new wave scene, but those who previously considered Finn's vocals a deal-breaker will likely consider Fiestas + Fiascos only a minor improvement.

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