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My Bloody Valentine became a popular name to drop (or influence to have) by 2004, proving to be one of the more enduring alternative bands in history. Their brand of noisy, feedback-laden indie rock -- dubbed shoegazing at the time, though it's a term rarely applied to contemporary artists doing the same thing -- inspired an entire generation of musicians who wanted to create something both arty and dark. If it seems a little curious that nearly every review of Whirlaway's Pompano -- including the one you're reading -- starts with a mention of My Bloody Valentine, it's because, for better or worse, Whirlaway rips an awful lot of MBV's attributes. The ten songs that compose Pompano are drenched in drone-y feedback and sport off-tuned guitars, and like many modern feedback-laden bands (B.R.M.C., for example), they also sound strangely hollow. There are some pretty good moments here -- "Walkthrough" sounds like an early-'90s Blur B-side, and "Strangeplanes" is a good driving punk tune, but very few of this sticks on repeat listens. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, My Bloody Valentine have a lot to be proud of. But Whirlaway have some work to do if they're going to be remembered as anything other than copycats.

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