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We Are Pilots [Stormwest]

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
With the rise of groups like the Killers and Franz Ferdinand came a new appreciation for finely tuned electro-tinged rock or pop. Shiny Toy Guns make no bones about sounding retro, but they do it so well it's quite shocking. The leadoff number, "You Are the One," shines thanks to some crisp arrangements that sounds like a blending of the Killers and Talk Talk. The dual vocals of Jeremy Dawson and Carah Faye certainly don't hurt, either. From there, the band opts for a leaner, disco-era electro-pop feel on the aptly titled "Le Disko" that sounds like an improvement on a Peaches effort. The band is quite adept at delivering these songs with a freshness and verve, as is the case with the Nine Inch Nails-meets-Depeche Mode groove oozing out of the slow-building "Starts with One." When the group slows things down as they do during the tender and sweet "When They Came for Us," it's definitely anything but fluff or padding. The first highlight is "Don't Cry Out," which is fantastic, a perfect blend of New Order while Carah Faye sounds eerily similar to Neko Case fronting the New Pornographers. It's this ebb and flow which characterizes much of the album, with the equally fine "Chemistry of a Car Crash" taking on theatrical lengths along the lines of My Chemical Romance or Angels and Airwaves. The album rarely falters, with pretty sonic pictures like "Rainy Monday" sugary sweet and worthy of cranking on a summer drive. The lone dance-ish track is "Jackie Will Save Me" that doesn't quite live up to expectations. The title track closes things out with a slow but steady tempo. Overall, We Are Pilots is a very refreshing album that takes makes "retro" sound like a good thing. ~ Jason MacNeil, Rovi
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