Hills End

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The debut album from the Aussie Brit-pop revivalists, Hills End's influences are obvious and many, but DMA's deliver the goods with enough vitality and pure pop acumen to temper some of the criticisms that their obvious affinity for all things Oasis and Stone Roses will no doubt invoke. The trio caught a wave of buzz in 2014 with their melodious, acoustic guitar-driven ode to young love "Delete," which appears here in a newly recorded, far more ornate version that builds to a dizzying crescendo. That song, the road trip-ready "Lay Down," and the equally incandescent "Switch" and "Play It Out" skillfully pair the summery evocations of Roses classics like "She Bangs the Drums" and "Waterfall" with the lyrical simplicity and economical hooks of the Vaccines. The remainder of Hills End plants its feet firmly in Gallagher brothers territory, but while stadium-ready arm-wavers like "In the Moment," "Blown Away," and "Too Soon" are melodiously sound, they lack the overall gravitas and working-class cocksureness that helped the best Oasis songs rise above their own commonplace trappings -- the propulsive opener "Timeless" finds a nice middle ground, instilling a bit of Madchester villainy into the mix without sacrificing anything in the way of hooks. Whether or not the trio's adherence to such a recognizable and dated sound will help or hinder them in the future depends largely on what their next move will be. As of now, they've proven that they can wear the baggy tracksuits, but not that they necessarily deserve them.

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