45 Spiders' debut album, Standard Forms of Communication, presents a dozen indie rock songs influenced by all the "right" bands -- Galaxie 500, Unrest, the Wedding Present, Yo La Tengo, and Polvo all spring to mind -- that never quite make the leap to sounding original. Despite some clever lyrics ("You're so post, you're pre" from "Carter Stanley or Jacques Lacan?" is a highlight), pleasant melodies, and appealing playing and production, Forms of Communication rarely rises above competency. The result is a very pretty, paint-by-numbers indie rock portrait; with any luck, 45 Spiders' future albums will use a more distinctive palette.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares