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Thomas Function

The Alabama foursome Thomas Function makes its label home on Fat Possum, an Epitaph offshoot that began as a blues imprint. That family tree indeed tells you about the band's sound, propelled largely by a punky euphoria but informed by a bit of Muscle Shoals thrust. (Check out those soulful organ stabs.) Yes, this is low-pretense, vaguely retro-sounding stuff of the kind that's de rigueur among rock lovers who are exhausted by the overproduction of Animal Collective, Dirty Projects, and Grizzly Bear, et al. Where Thomas Function sets itself apart from a lot of the shitgaze/lo-fi/garage/whatever pack, though, is with tunes that are, at their core, downright strummy and feel-good. A brain-sticking song such as "In the Light of Day," for instance, could almost be an outtake from "Take It Easy"-era Eagles. That's a compliment, not an insult; there's no shame in slipping some feel-good hooks under all of those layers of fuzz.

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