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Box Elders: Alice and Friends

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Box Elders' debut Alice and Friends opens with “Jackie Wood,” a dirty pop anthem that lays all the cards on the table. Yes, they're from Omaha, Neb., but the group's stylish warble is imbued with such a gut-wrenching balance of giddy and unpretentious rock, haphazardly delivered, that each song teeters on collapse. The noisy concoctions of surf and ’60s pop inflections in “Stay,” “Necro” and “Talk Amongst Yourself” will inevitably draw comparisons to the Black Lips, but beyond the murk and garage riffs, ramped-up pop energy drives the record through to the end. “One Foot in Front of the Other” and “2012” are dark and aggressive, while “Death of Me” is a legitimately timeless nugget amid this grand unveiling of the group's beautiful, jagged sound. (Goner Records) 4 stars out of 5

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