Moore Brothers

The music of Oakland, California's Moore Brothers is like a poison ivy leaf: bright, green, sparkling, and likely to get under your skin and make you itch and twitch. Their close sibling harmonies bring to mind the adolescent wail of the Everlys, and although their angelic harmonies can be soothing, they have a wicked edge all their own. "Even the tumor on my little toe doesn't smell half as bad as the punch that you throw," they sing on "Fresh Thoughts of You," a surrealistic putdown of a former lover that's full of anger and frustrated desire. It's obvious from their bright, breezy melodies that the Moores spend a lot of their free time listening to early Brit pop. Echoes of the Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Peter and Gordon, and, to a lesser extent, the acoustic folk/pop of Simon and Garfunkel run through their music, giving it a neoclassical sheen. But it's their skewed worldview and achingly pure harmonies that provide the unexpected jolts that make this one a keeper.

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J. Poet