It's pretty apparent that Ambulance LTD has a thing for the Beatles, since every third song on LP, the act's debut, sounds like an experimental reworking of "Dear Prudence." But despite any derivative tendencies, the Brooklyn-based four-piece transcends its schoolgirl crush on the "White Album" to embrace every ornately sophisticated British band from the last twenty years -- most notably the Smiths. Emphasizing atmosphere over volume, two-chord drone over hooks, supple melodicism over industrial gloom, Ambulance hasn't exactly reinvented the indie-rock wheel. But thanks to the dynamic interplay between four skilled musicians who all cut their teeth playing jazz, much of the band's live performance undercuts pop nonchalance in service of the almighty groove -- one injected with blues and a liberal dose of psychedelia. Further reference points en route to hospital include Television, Elliott Smith and the Velvet Underground. The fellas even pull off a version of "The Ocean" that reportedly brought tears to the eyes of one Lou Reed. For junkies and teetotalers alike, it makes for a meat-wagon joyride that's well worth taking.
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