All Music Guide

This blissful collection of lo-fi guitar pop evokes nostalgia for a time so nice it may have never existed. Or maybe it’s a soundtrack to a teenager’s dreams of timeless summers. It’s also fairly derivative (eclectically and beautifully so), yet original enough in the sense that no other group could have made this album (in the same way that Guided By Voices transcends the various groups it’s aping). “The Duke of Gloucester” evokes XTC, while “Going Down” is pure skinny-tie power pop. “Hands-On” is a Sebadoh sound-alike, while “Bombay: A Silver Anthem” and “Simply Enough” are gray album era Velvet Underground. There are even echoes of the upbeat, melodic brand of alt-country peddled by folks like Wilco and the Jayhawks (“Broken Heart,” “Always,” “Something New”). But then again, these two guys pull it off with enough panache to make you believe they’ve never heard those records.