Versão + Fã

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True provincial rock heroes, Hori don't even try to sound original on their reissued debut Versão + Fã, but do it with enough energy and good hooks that the derivative sound could -- should -- be overlooked. At heart this is power pop, with huge but simple riffs, youthful energy, and a larger-than-life feeling, but it's also surprisingly versatile, romping through many styles on a course from one addictive chorus to another. Somewhat unexpectedly, there's little U2 worship here, and only a couple of ballads -- the guys have a hard time controlling their energy as it is -- but there's pop-punk, gloomy post-grunge in the vein of 3 Doors Down, and feel-good post-grunge à la Nickelback, sunny Beatlesque tunes, even some quasi-hard rock and moderately jangly emo. The power pop part boils down mostly to the mood -- no pomp, no spleen, no overblown drama, just youthful romantics -- but that's a benefit. Hori actually sound almost underground in their cheery approach, as if they're really only doing this because they enjoy it, not for sales or to pack big venues, though they've got that down as well. They also sound almost proud of themselves, like they think they are the first to pile these influences onto one record and scour their own record collections for big hooks, which is hardly true even for their native Brazil, and surely not for the global scene. But it's not like 99-percent of young rockers out there, from Michigan to Nagoya, are doing anything different, and most of them are less fun than Hori.

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