For some reason, musicians put a lot of pressure on themselves to come up with clever and ironic band names. This seems especially senseless considering how many good bands have really stupid monikers. Take Sweden's The Sounds, for instance: Shamelessly generic epithet? You bet. Fortunately, the music doesn't suck, and at the end of the day, that means a hell of a lot more than irony or cleverness. Sounding like an Internet mash-up of the Killers' Hot Fuss and Tegan and Sara's So Jealous, the Sounds' sophomore release, Dying to Say This to You, has everything that made those albums so irresistibly catchy: distorted keyboard wah-wah, minor-chord hooks made poppy and sassy, over-enunciated girl vocals. These shared features should come as no surprise: Dying was produced by Jeff Saltzman, the same man who played maestro on Hot Fuss. And while Dying (like Fuss) is essentially a New Order album, listening to it is as pleasurable as, say, catching a Family Guy rerun after an episode of The Sopranos: Nothing new or exciting happens, but it's fun nonetheless.
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