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Record Review

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At the heart of it all, San Diego's Kill Me Tomorrow play pop music. But damned if they don't make a solid attempt at bewildering the listener into forgetting that fact. Their recordings are perfectly clear, yet warm distortion curls the edges of most every sound, creating a marvelous lo-fi illusion. And while it appears the trio is utilizing all manner of retro-modern synthesizers in its quest for the nether regions of peculiarity, all they've really got are a bunch of guitars.

Sure, Kill Me Tomorrow piles on heaps of effects. And yeah, programmed drum sounds do compete with real skins. But the simplicity underlying Chrome Yellow EP belies the overall disoriented feel -- and that's the appeal. This is pop music reflected in a funhouse mirror; sometimes it's a delight, sometimes it's pleasantly disturbing, sometimes it even finds refuge in the feedbacked dissonance of early Sonic Youth (the vocals sounding like Mick Jagger as channeled through Thurston Moore).

The full buzz of Chrome Yellow EP kicks in after its four songs are over, like a half-remembered dream that comes creeping back.

Kill Me Tomorrow plays MJQ Mon.,

April 8.

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