If there is ever a case to be made for reconciling the mope-rock rift between ardent fans of The Cure and The Smiths, Aveo will be exhibit A. The band borrows the best from both camps, creating a morosely jaunty trip back through the mid-’80s. “Newton and Galileo” leaves heavy guitar chords hanging in the air for a sinewy bass line to thread through, while singer William Wilson does his best Morrissey yodel on the wordless chorus. “Dust That Dreams of Brooms” channels the dark-rimmed spazz of The Smiths’ “What She Said,” while “Desert and the Great Divorce” and “Haley” are tasteful distillations of The Cure’s Disintegration; all rolling bass, swelling and dispersing atmospherics, and sublimated guitar lines. The disc closes with the gently prodding keyboards lifted from The Smiths’ “A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours” on “3:33a.m./The Insomnia Waltz.”

The band deviates from its ’80s track with the decidedly 1994 brit-pop swagger of “The Idiot on the Bike.” The more recent and Americanized influences show on the immediate and angular post-punk of “Hypochondria is Spreading” and the monolithic R.E.M. riffing on “Awkward at the Knees.”

For the past couple of years we’ve had to suffer tepid rehashings like Starsailor, Travis and Coldplay being pawned off as “the new saviours of British Rock,” it’s nice to have an album that actually lives up to that hype. So what if they’re from Seattle…

Barsuk Records: www.barsuk.com

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