The Aislers Set

The Last Match

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

The Aislers Set are caught in a pop trap of either great inspiration or cloying pretension. It's up to a listener to determine which. One thing that's certain is that the band isn't the sum of their influences. The Aislers Set frequently take a Pet Sounds detour courtesy of a path lit by His Name is Alive's Stars on ESP. "The Way to Market Station" might as well be His Name is Alive's "The Bees" with new lyrics. "The Red Door" sounds like an extract from My Bloody Valentine's Isn't Anything. "Lonely Side of Town" is a departure into the pristine pop realm mastered by the Delgados, until the track takes a psychedelic turn. The band's sound takes on the haunted air of Broadcast throughout the album. They might be considered lo-fi cousins to that band. Other songs, particularly the sweet "Chicago New York," suggest the folk-pop of Belle and Sebastian. While The Last Match is charming in small doses, the breathy female vocals do take their toll over the course of the album; it's a minor relief when Wyatt Cusick takes over vocal duties on a number of tracks. Charm and catchiness can only take an album so far; cohesion is vital for great songs to total a great album. The album suffers due to the band's style browsing. It's a problem the band shares with Belle and Sebastian, as too many songwriters spoil the overall album. Like Belle and Sebastian, the Aislers Set are better at creating individual songs than entire albums. Still, fans of energetic neo-psychedelia will find worlds of pleasure, as the album is insanely catchy in spurts. The Aislers Set suggest on The Last Match that there's a great album lurking just beyond their influences and retro desires.

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