tt Lester

Hard Days, Hard Nights (Self-released)

Scratching unacknowledged itches, tt Lester makes it seem natural to follow a plucky piano-bar number with a Joy Division dronefest that would put Interpol to shame. Lester's interests are varied but invariably British. Tony Guerrie spills out sleepily confident vocals similar to those of Blur's Damon Albarn, and when he does lash out on tracks such as "Radio Star," that ghostly Jim Morrison rock howl comes out of nowhere and retreats just as quickly. "Raised to Orange" elevates the alert on lost spirituality with its double-take lyrics "Symbolism sits upon a bench/Asking, ŒWhat does it stand for?'" The spot-on compositions are filled with achingly good guitar, and, in the case of "Hold On," piano movements that really move. The act's emotion is genuine and easy to get behind. Overall, Hard Days, Hard Nightsis a treat unexpected from this continent -- even more impressive coming from this Cowopolis.

 
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