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Brits Not Quite as Silly as Their Moniker Suggests, For Once

This Manchester trio had the misfortune of queuing up between the Music and the Kaiser Chiefs at the Wack-Ass U.K. Band Name Factory a couple of years ago. Their place in line at the School of Received Brit-Rock Wisdom was significantly better: On their self-titled second album, I Am Kloot punch up strummy acoustic pop cribbed from mid-period Beatles albums with the sort of haphazard bar-band detailing that gave the Kinks and the Faces their special kick. Drummer Andy Hargreaves winds up "Life in a Day" with a rolling tom pattern that sounds like Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" after a winter spent indoors; singer John Bramwell smears enough post-Oasis guitar reverb over the beat to support his mild-mannered sneer. With their debut, Kloot found themselves drafted into Britain's short-lived New Acoustic Movement (a product of the Wack-Ass U.K. Trend Name Factory) alongside more mealymouthed acts like Alfie and Turin Brakes. Yet here they don't sound restrained by the reactionary ideology that always sinks trends in U.K. pop; "A Strange Arrangement of Colour" sports a cool continental swing, and all "Here for the World" is missing is the sleepy sax solo they can't afford. They are Kloot; hear them snore.

 
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