This Dallas group's Pedestal Fall EP was promising atmospheric rock, so those familiar with that EP may be caught unaware by the completely new, vaguely power pop direction here. But as it happens, like Chopper's similar Madhouse on Castle Street, Tornillo is a much higher accomplishment. A tune such as "The Rearranger" is more akin to Big Star's "When My Baby's Beside Me" than, say, the Comsat Angels (who thanked this band's multi-talented singer Salim Nourallah on one of their LPs, so these guys do know their atmospheric stuff), and the music is constructed so delicately with care it's way beyond run of the mill. One immediately notices the perfectly arranged piano and trumpet in the background of "Is It Too Late" and is captivated by the super-production and tempting "pring" of each guitar pluck and "dut-dit" backing vocals on "Flawed By Magnificence" (the standout), before the Leslie guitar sound is even added. But this is what you would expect from Beatles fans -- the way the title of "When I Was a Boy" is sung, it's a sneaky illusion to John Lennon's Revolver classic "She Said She Said." And what a handsome, flawlessly executed sleeve booklet, complete with lyrics. These people love the music enough to work their butts off on every facet, with one surprising sound after another. Pop with heart.
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