We Should've Never Released This

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Many jaded rock critics, given the wide open target of the title of Peachcake's debut full-length, must have been tempted to give it a one-sentence drive-by non-review like "No argument here" and go back to searching the torrent streams for Radiohead bootlegs. Their loss, because this Phoenix-based duo is making some of the most joyous, tuneful electro-pop of the era. Barely out of high school and therefore too young to have experienced the first golden age of synth pop first-hand, John O'Keefe and Stefan Pruett approach their likely inspirations -- the holy trinity of Vince Clarke groups, Depeche Mode, Yaz, and Erasure foremost among them -- with a complete lack of nostalgia. There is no arch '80s revivalism on We Should've Never Released This, merely a solid set of catchy, playful pop songs that happen to be performed on synths and sequencers. Basically an expansion of the duo's self-released 2004 EP Chain Letter with some extra material and a pair of remixes of the album's best song, "Hundreds and Hundreds of Thousands." We Should've Never Released This is a bracing blast of old-school electronic beats married to sugary-sweet melodies and Pruett's winsome, boyish vocals. Fans of other modern-day synth revivalists like LCD Soundsystem and Junior Senior should be all over danceable pure-pop gems like "This Blackout Makes Me Wanna Makeout" and "I Hope We Don't Get Exploded."

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