The Reunion Show

Kill Your Television

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The Victory label is not generally known for power pop -- old-school hardcore is more its usual style. But at the recommendation of label mainstays Taking Back Sunday, Victory signed this young pop quartet and released what turned out to be one of the most exciting debut albums of 2002. Combining big, distorted guitars with Moog synthesizer, thickly layered harmonies, and insanely catchy melodies, Kill Your Television harks back to the sounds of the new wave 1970s while also drawing on the sonic power of late-'90s pop-punk. With an average track length of just over two and a half minutes, this album is, above all, a piece of disciplined pop art; these guys are not ashamed to sing love songs and are not above putting on a fake British accent every so often, and the melodies are so consistently solid that the occasional affectation is easily forgiven. In fact, it's almost impossible to single out any particular tracks as highlights -- from "Television" at the beginning to "Dedication" at the end, every one of them features punchy, economical verses and hook-laden choruses that will stick in your head for days. Those that stand out do so mainly by virtue of unusual lyrics (lines like "Feel as nervous as a Christian Scientist" or "I'm sick and tired of this alligator love trap," for instance). Very highly recommended.

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