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Reseda Spleen

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Album Review

A batallion of bands are compared to Big Star, since echoes of that '70s Memphis group still exist in Teenage Fanclub, the Posies, and Velvet Crush. Add L.A.'s Ventilator to the list. Right from the start, "The Tailor's Lament" borrows the riff and feel of "Feel" from 1972's number one record, only main man Matt Devine's voice sounds more like Alex Chilton than Chris Bell. But unlike the other Chilton disciples, Devine isn't just interested in rockin' power pop. Half of this LP also recreates the pensive, gloomy, subdued sweetness of the slower tracks Chilton cherished (from "13" to "What's Going Ahn" to "Kangaroo"), such as on "The Daily Drag" and "Lansdowne." Devine can also hint of '70s Todd Rundgren on the emotionally stuttering "Happy New Year," and the arrangements are advanced beyond 99 percent of indie records, much less self-produced ones like this. Reseda Spleen is lovely, however déjà vu-like.

Reseda Spleen, Ventilator
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