Semifinalists: Semifinalists

PUBLISHED: 12:16 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

This debut release from the London-based American trio immediately sets them up as contemporaries of the US-alternative mainstays. Consciously lo-fi and with three vocalists, Semifinalists avoid sprawling messiness and instead sprout pop ditties out of ne

This debut release from the London-based American trio immediately sets them up as contemporaries of the US-alternative mainstays.

Consciously lo-fi and with three vocalists, Semifinalists avoid sprawling messiness and instead sprout pop ditties out of nearly every of the 12 tracks.

Traditional song structures rarely feature, but the resulting ride is an often invigorating, imagination-packed 40 minutes.

Show The Way, one of the album highlights, starts out with an eerie, Eels-like refrain backed by shy synths, before rock-riff guitars crash through it and segue into bloopy space-synth territory that might sit at the crossroads of Grandaddy, Mercury Rev and Secret Machines.

A mini marvel. 4/5

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