The 88

Kind of Light

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The 88 play a relatively inoffensive and imaginative brand of indie rock. At times reminiscent of Pavement or the Flaming Lips or power pop revivalists like Brendan Benson, they also throw enough curves to keep things interesting. Kind of Light is full of energy, swerving from the straight-ahead rock of "How Good It Can Be" to the grunge-lite balladry of "Kind of Light" to the keening country-rock of "No Use Left for Me" (which calls to mind the Kinks circa Muswell Hillbillies) to the horn-driven orchestral pop of "Melting in the Sun." The vocals are strong throughout -- each bandmember is credited with vocals and they harmonize very well. The best songs on the record are the bursting-with-energy, up-tempo tracks like the twisting "Sunday Afternoon" and the hard-driving "All the Same"; the rest of the record gets bogged down in mid-tempo sameness after a while. Still, this is a very promising record by a band whose heart and influences are in the right place. After all, anyone who can call up classic Kinks comparisons can't be all bad.

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