The Electric Pop Group

Seconds

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Barely a group with only two members (Eric Aamot on guitars and vocals, Martin Aamot on everything else), it's hard to say if the Electric Pop Group was aiming for jolly irony or a desire to sound thoroughly generic when they chose their name, and calling their second album Seconds doesn't win them any additional points in the cleverness sweepstakes. Seconds isn't rousing enough to make the duo's naming abilities seem either irrelevant or anomalous, but it's a thoroughly pleasant exercise in jangle-centric indie pop whose craft nearly overpowers its muted personality. Eric Aamot's simple but engaging melodies suggest classic-period New Zealand pop with the energy turned down, and his vocals make him sound like the lost Scottish sibling of the Windbreakers' Bobby Sutliff, while the interplay between Erik and Martin's guitars and their harmonies add a winsome sweetness to the performances. Though Martin could use a few lessons in creative drum programming, his engineering gives this music a sleek sound that fits the bright tone of the guitars, and these ten songs and their tales of love that might work out (but usually don't) should bring a smile to the lips of fans of classic guitar pop. Unfortunately, that smile will probably be on the slight side; Seconds is good but hardly great pop music, walking a well-worn path with skill and good intentions but without bringing much that's fresh or exciting to the picture. The Electric Pop Group is good enough to merit the attention of pop obsessives, but they also lack the fire or original vision to stand out. Maybe they weren't going for irony with that name, after all.

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