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the and/ors | will self-destruct (Better Looking Records)
If only for the (inadvertent?) name-check for my fave British author, the and/ors full-length debut was destined to find a home here. Whatprevents it from remaining another dust-topped half-inch presence on the shelf is the quality of the music, however much it tries to be a trashy GBV-esque half hour of throwaways. The feedback - drenched mess of Timespacechanger aside, will self-destruct is awash with vocal and melodic hooks, their Buffalo Tom/Replacements/GBV hybrid epitomised by The Black Diamond Prince, a driving power-chord two minute burst. On the following Screams Nicole, vocalist Daniel Black adopts a lazy delivery a la Dando, before a ba-ba-da-ba outro - again reminiscent of Buffalo Tom - repeats to fade. There's an early You Am I tip to Neo-Disney Hype-Trip, an accidental Elliott Smith echo on Terror Eyes (a lo-fi relative to Heatmiser's Plain Clothes Man). Other high-points include the slow-burning Loft Life and the rush of opener Candy Takes The Cake, a Jessamine-like phased groove succumbing to the insistent beat of Chris Wassel's tireless drumming before launching into the first of what soon becomes a feature of the album, a chorus to savour.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001

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