Apologies to the Queen Mary

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This debut from the Montreal quartet merges Modest Mouse’s ramshackle folksy side with the lavish Arcade Fire. An easy enough task for a group that was produced by the frontman of the former and had their first gig with the latter. Call it your standard Garden State variety indie pop, a likely candidate for music on The O.C. — while the group’s wired, keyboard-driven “new wave” isn’t groundbreaking, it’s catchy, energetic and exciting.

The marching drum opener, “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son,” leads into a fury of distorted guitars and busted electronics. Keyboardist and co-lead singer Spencer Krug’s Bowie-esque voice is well-suited for the giddy synth-pop of “Grounds and Divorce” and the concentrated, upbeat rhythms of “I’ll Believe in Anything.” It’s Dan Boeckner’s somewhat affected growl that works on the album’s highlight, “Same Ghost Every Night,” a haunting song colored with a swelling theremin, the perfect backdrop for Boeckner to bleat, “I go walking/Just to find my own breath/My own breath through the path.”

This record finds the band polishing its sound and adding reworked pieces of earlier EPs — and it’s just enamored enough of the aforementioned bands to be worth seeking out.

 

Appears Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700. With the Organ and Dante Decaro (ex-Hot Hot Heat).

Luke Hackney writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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