The Concretes were reportedly named after the most prevalent building material in their hometown of Stockholm. A better moniker for the symphonic pop band might've been the Delicate Flowers. Or Thrift Store Ski Lodge. Or Sexy Mumbling Epics. On its first full-length (following three EPs), the Swedish octet delivers addictive garage nuggets, swooning ballads and slow-building vamps, replete with horns, organs, bells, strings and the sensually slurred vocals of Victoria Bergsman. The result is like a (more) narcotized Hope Sandoval fronting the Velvet Underground under the guise of Phil Spector -- a luscious, love-torn wall of sound that's as rock-solid as, well, concrete. I guess the band knew what it was doing after all.
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