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This is nice stuff. Fronted by singer/guitarist Alice Cohen (formerly of Die Monster Die), Espadrille delivers a tough, concise little seven-track debut consisting of spiky-yet-not-aggressive, accessible-yet-not-poppy, heavy-yet-not-metal post-rock that maintains interest by juxtaposing barely tuneful melodies with a guitar-bass-drums backup that shifts nicely between shimmery and jagged. On "Fleur de Lis" the effect is sort of like a cross between Mission of Burma and Belly, while the 7/8 time signature and hooky chorus on "Green Envy" come off kind of like a math rock version of early Nirvana. The comparisons seem unfair somehow, but Espadrille's sound is hard to nail down and it seems like invoking reference points is the only way to give an accurate idea: think Tanya Donelly's vocals in front of Sweep the Leg Johnny or Natalie Merchant if she had gone to art school. Still not giving you an aural image? Then just break down and buy the album. You won't be disappointed. (Unless you don't like the sound of the Bangles nursing a Modest Mouse jones.)