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The Stangs, a trio from Pembrokeshire in Western Wales, have quickly cut a fine image in the indie scene with their spot-on, infectious Britpop revivalism. Their newest EP, American Sessions, combines the ’90s posturing of Blur and Oasis with the intelligent sneering lyricism of Elvis Costello and captures the perfect moment of a band still very much in their youth but remarkably self-assured. Although quintessentially British, the band were invited by producer Michael Baker to record at his studio in New Jersey, resulting in four fantastically fresh songs that individually display a different facet of the band’s personality, each more dynamic than the one before it.
“The Beekeeper” is the obvious choice for star single with its bopping Britpop energy that could stand well on its own compared to Blur’s similar British society character studies. The slower more ballad-like “She’s a Stranger” features some wonderfully clever lyrics not to be outdone by a purely nonsensical chorus that is almost annoyingly catchy. A real highlight of the EP, however, is the closer “Dirty Faces” which is deceptively unassuming in its craftsmanship and stands out as a truly inspired bit of songwriting. Only time will tell whether The Stangs are a band born in the wrong time or if they’ll lead the charg of a new revivalist movement, but American Sessions will nevertheless stand on its own merits.
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