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May 25, 2004

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A blast of nostalgia fills my giddy little head.

Pedro The Lion is indie-rock before The Hives and At The Drive-In turned people's heads. A time when indie-rock was something so much simpler – or at least seemed simpler for people caught between the end of the old guard and the beginning of the new wave.

When Sebadoh left the building and The Strokes entered.

'Achilles Heel' is a fairly laid back album full of neat lyrical turns and clever melodic flourishes. Occasionally David Bazan – who is essentially Pedro The Lion – gets his groove on and makes a little noise. 'Keep Swinging' shimmies and shakes the distortion blues.

Bazan is a clever man. A man who sounds like Coldplay's Chris Martin.

On one song at least he does a rather painful falsetto. It ruins an otherwise brilliant song, 'Bands With Managers'. "Bands with managers go places," sings Bazan cheekily. Then he goes and sings in a wavering high voice that brings tears of emo to my eye.

Thankfully nothing of the sort ever happens again. It's all summery frolics and heartbreaking melodies hanging out with Evan Dando and Jeff Tweedy sipping dandelion and burdock on the veranda.

'Achilles Heel' has weathered warmth. Bazan's voice has an aching quality that could make even the most hardhearted swoon. 'Foregone Conclusions' could have found a perfect home on Wilco's 'Summerteeth'.

This album makes me want to lie down and go to sleep in the knowledge everything will be alright when I wake up in the morning. Despite the occasional spiky lyrical concerns, I feel enveloped in a comforting gentleness.

This is a simple pleasure for simpler times.

New Noise

Nadeem Ali