Les 5-4-3-2-1

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The debut EP of Sally Kubota's Les 5-4-3-2-1 is full of promise but few standout tracks. Kubota, an ex-member of retro-'60s beat group the Phantom Gift, throws in his knowledge of garage rock, French pop, and post-Bacharach songcraft into the mix, but often seems content to rest in grooves ("Les 5-4-3-2-1 Et Leur Style Dan"). Lead singer Hitomi is an ingenue with a plain, though not unpleasant, voice. The mixture of bouncy vibes, wah-wah guitar, and electro-pop sounds make "Ah Oui Bonbon" the standout track here. "Avec Toi Avec Moi" cleverly recasts the riff of "Sunshine of Your Love" into a Henry Mancini-like groove. This EP was quickly followed by -- what else? -- Deux.

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