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Lovelight Shine, Moods for Moderns

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LOVELIGHT SHINE, MOODS FOR MODERNS

Like the 50s in Happy Days, the 70s are a lot more palatable the second time around, and a band like San Diego's Lovelight Shine (whose guitarists and drummer played together in the emo outfit Jejune) can celebrate the outlandish pomp of AOR's golden age even as they hold it at arm's length. Their debut EP, Makes Out (Big Wheel Recreation), begins with a pair of ballistic power-pop numbers, but by the fifth and final track, "The March Is On," it's grown positively operatic, its gigantic power chords laden with synthesized strings, harmonic double guitar solos, and regal us-against-the-world choruses. I can't think of many records lately that've made me laugh out loud (except in scorn), but this one is so delighfully pompous that I'm eager to hear an LP. Detroit's denim-clad Moods for Moderns, named after an ancient Elvis Costello song, are so addicted to the Me Decade that they recently swore off listening to any music released after 1979. The giant harmonies, swaggering guitar, and omnipresent tambourine on their first album, Loud & Clear (Doghouse), recall such power-pop luminaries as Badfinger ("Lust for Luster"), Big Star ("Whatever She's Doin'"), T. Rex ("Popstar"), and Cheap Trick ("Runaround"). As with Lovelight Shine, their enthusiasm and pop smarts make that garish, hedonistic decade seem almost innocent--and if they can conjure up the era without raising the specters of John Davidson or Spiro Agnew, then more power to 'em. Stryder headlines; Story So Far opens. Thursday, May 17, 6 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700.

J.R. JONES

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Ken Chojnacki.

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