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The Enemies - EP

Headlights

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Album Review

You can't blame record labels for jumping on bandwagons. Why wouldn't they want to have the next White Stripes or Postal Service printing money for them? Headlights' debut EP for Polyvinyl seems at first to be a indie electronica wagon-jumper as the opening synth squiggles and techno drumbeats threaten yet another PS-wannabe group. Instead, the pedal steel guitar that loops around the fragile (human-operated) drumbeat and sweet vocal harmonies sends the proceedings to a much more interesting level. The group begins with excellent indie rock tunes and throws in some electronics to keep listeners on their toes and remind them that it is 2005. Tracks like the bursting-with-energy "Centuries" and the melancholy and swooning "Tokyo" are the work of a first-rate rock band, "Everybody Needs a Fence to Lean On" is an aching ballad that captures the feel if not the sound of the shoegaze era with its fuzzy electronics and sudden shifts in dynamics, and "It Isn't Easy to Live That Well" is fine indie pop that has singer Erin Fein sounding like an animated Sarah Shannon and the band rocking like it were jumping the wrong bandwagon. Is there any market for bands that revisit the early-'90s American noise pop sound of Velocity Girl and the Lilys? Maybe so, maybe no. Headlights seem determined to find out.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Headlights are an indie threesome from Champaign, Illinois, made up of members of Kindercore band Maserati and Parasol band Absinthe Blind. After name changes, false starts, and membership adjustments (at one point, they were known as Orphans) the group settled on their current moniker and lineup (Erin Fein on vocals and keyboards, Brett Sanderson on drums, and Tristan Wraight on vocals, guitar, and bass) in 2004. Headlights recorded their debut, The Enemies EP, with Adam Schmitt serving as producer....
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The Enemies - EP, Headlights
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