The Suitcase

Hidden Agenda / Parasol

Wide-open, expansive pop music from Los Angeles’ Duraluxe on their second full-length album yet. This opens in a blur of casual noise and a full-on rock fury, but the album as a whole is far subtler and more careful in its approach.

Nestling somewhere between the light psychedelia of Mercury Rev and Grandaddy (“7ths & Minors”), and the Brit-rock of Oasis and Stereophonics (“All Together Now”), this is a pretty uneven album to say the least. But when Duraluxe pull it off, they do it so well that the weaker spots are instantly forgiven and forgotten.

“Save One For Giessen” is one such fine moment, where Duraluxe touch the insane other-worldliness of The Flaming Lips. The whimsical power pop of “Sometimes” is another one, and a standout track in the somewhat disappointing second half of this album. Elsewhere, “Phantom Power” is a lovely, breezy track, with a simple but great-sounding chorus, and “Hit So Hard” is a stadium-sized slab of 1980s indie pop.

Although this leaves something to be desired, there are moments on here that are absolutely stunning, and this is definitely one for the late, warm summer evenings spent hanging out with your cool indie-rocking, magazine-reading friends.

Parasol Records: http://www.parasol.com

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