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Künstler: Derby


Oddly, Derby hail not from the English town of the same name but from Portland, OR; odd because their sound is so quintessentially English. On Posters Fade, their sophomore set, Derby resurrect the British Invasion -- which they are head over heels in love with -- in all its pert, melody-rich glory. And melodies -- the cheerful kind you can sing along with after the first couple of lines -- are key to this set, mostly set to rhythms that will send you hopping across the floor in delight. The first single, "All or Nothing," is a case in point: Brit-pop with a twist, as a New Order-styled rhythm courses right over a Jam-ish number. "Michigan" also has an Ordered edge, but tied to a more indie-styled song. "As My Own" goes with the indie sound, but blends it with late-'60s rock, while the title track is a glam-stomper, but hustled right back to the '60s. The Kinks are Derby's most obvious influence, with the set-opening "Why Don't You Do It" an homage to their Muswell Hillbillies period, while "Stop Stalling" pays tribute to their earlier sound. But the Beatles, too, play their part, leaving their most notable mark on "Stumps," one of a handful of downbeat numbers found on the set. And whether psychedelically doused or tinged with a Western flavor, these moodier songs deftly break up the set and balance the band's otherwise bright and perky sound. Still, it's the uptempo numbers like the garagey "Streetlight," "Stop Stalling," and "Posters Fade," along with the grandiosity of "As My Own," that will garner instant attention -- as will the band's sharp lyrics, interpersonal themes, and frequent mentions of bears, apparently a metaphor for the more gruff and unpleasant side of women. Smart pop for the masses. ~ Jo-Ann Greene