Two Cents Plus Tax

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Two Cents Plus Tax continues the subtle refinements of the preceding Secret Swingers, moving Versus further away from the visceral indie rock of their earliest efforts toward a more evocative and spacious sound. Foregoing the blistering attack of before, here the group settles into a comparatively gentle, vaguely dreamy drift. Tracks like the opening "Atomic Kid" and "Dumb Fun" still crackle with energy, but at the same time they reflect a new melodic maturity, and are crafted with a greater focus on vocal and instrumental interplay. Similarly, while the brilliant centerpiece "Morning Glory" hits the ground running, as the song progresses it moves in unexpected directions, easing into a lovely atmospheric haze later resurrected for "Radar Follows You" and the sublime "Crazy-Maker (I'm Still in Love with Your Eyes)." And be sure not to miss the goofy hidden bonus cut "Oriental-American," found only by rewinding track one of the CD back to the -4:36 mark.

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