Sound Team

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The Austin sextet Sound Team are quite adept at hijacking various indie rock and pop sounds of the last few years and sometimes even further back. From Sonic Youth, the New Pornographers, Spoon, and Interpol to Silver Apples, Can, and shoegazers like Ride, they cover a lot of bases in 11 tracks. Most bands that sound like a chopped and blended soup of influences fail because they have no songwriting skills or nothing of their own to contribute, but Sound Team succeed because they have large amounts of both of those things. Songs like the Vancouver-poppy "No More Birthdays," the hazy "Afterglow Years," and the trance-punk jam "Handful of Billions" have hooks big enough to render influences irrelevant. Even the songs that aren't immediately imprinted on your brain prove to be nothing less than entertaining due to the amount of energy the bandmembers put into their performances -- especially the vocals, which range from impassioned to totally impassioned. You may be put off by their bland name and lack of image, but to pass them by would mean denying yourself some fine major-label indie rock.

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