The Moon Boys

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Iran's second album is a glorious display of fractured, noise-encrusted pop. Imagine a really solid, melodic band -- say XTC -- recorded an album in a long-abandoned shipyard, letting the rust seep into its sound; it might sound something like this. A bit more accessible than the debut, The Moon Boys takes the sound of early period Sebadoh to the next level (something no one has really managed to do since about 1993). The core of the album is "Butterfly Knife" and "We Could Go Away for a While," songs that will leave you wondering how something can be so catchy and so cacophonous at the same time. A few dirge-like songs don't even detract too much from the overall experience, as they allow breathing time between the periods of barrage. With the excellent and unexpected The Moon Boys, Iran has breathed new life into a stagnant and much maligned subgenre.

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