These Weymouth, Dorset seaside vets aren't depressed by the departure of original guitarist/co-songwriter James Laming after 2008's debut LP (following some EPs), Let Them Eat Cake. With replacement Leighton McGrath ensconced, leader Simon Felton cheerfully carries on his classic pop muse, delving even deeper into benignly embraced influences. It's one thing to adore the Byrds the way Teenage Fanclub and Velvet Crush did; it's another to so successfully capture, as with a net, the singular resplendent harmonies all three sing, like on the opening "Cool Your Jets" and "Short Straw." These are so good, they could be outtakes from the Fanclub's Howdy (a compliment). Otherwise, Garfield's Birthday sublimely keep the tempting harmonies coming, along with Colin Moulding (XTC)/Paul McCartney sweet pop (the violin-bedecked waltz "Cambridge"), plus neo-Kinks ("I See Shadows"), and neo-Sound Affects Jam ("Carry on Karaoke," "Better Thing") treats.
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AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid