Doleful Lions

Motel Swim

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Crisply produced by Mitch Easter, the Doleful Lions' buoyant debut album resurrects the jangle pop sound of an era gone by; haunted by the ghosts of Let's Active, the dB's, and Miracle Legion, Motel Swim nicely fills the void created by their absence, deftly approximating the ringing guitars, clever melodies, and ingratiating hooks which made those bands so memorable. The opening "The Sound of Cologne" -- a loving celebration of the Krautrock movement which name-checks everyone from Can to Cluster (and in its most winning couplet compares Neu! to the Beach Boys) -- is an instant classic, and although the remainder of the album doesn't reach quite the same peaks, tracks like "One Revolution (Around the World)," "Gulliver Diver," and the evocative title cut all soar as well. A fine debut.

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