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The Music, with Morningwood

Friday, March 18, at the Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.

Like forebears Oasis and Coldplay, the Music has benefited from an industry that's far more open to and effective at marketing new bands than it was in decades past. Hailed by DJ/journalist Steve Lamacq on Radio 1 as the best unsigned band in England (prompting a bidding war by the time he'd finished the sentence), NME called the Music "potentially the most important group since Oasis" when the then-teenage quartet released its debut EP, You Might as Well Try to Fuck Me, in 2001. Such hyperbole is the British press's stock-in-trade, but at least it introduces more sonic diversity into the musical gene pool than local modern rock radio. So while the members of the Music aren't the most impressive musicians, their unabashed energy and unaffectedness injects welcome vitality into their brand of stoner Britpop. Similar in vibe to fellow British-music comet Kula Shaker, the Music explores psychedelic expansiveness without sacrificing melody and structure to the extent that American jam bands do. The soaring, ethereal bridges channel Oasis with a Hawkwind-ish space-rock lean. Elsewhere, the band's chunky groove recalls Jane's Addiction in the death grip of Coldplay -- moody, melancholy pop with a primal, almost aggressive backbeat. Robert Harvey's vocal wail mimics Robert Plant and circles over chugging, prog-ish rock riffs and fluttering spates of electronic embellishment. It's hardly art, but it ain't Hoobastank either. Say what you will about their culinary skills and gray skies -- the English are much better purveyors of catchy, disposable rock than we are.

 
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