In today's Clap Your Death Cab Say Arcade Fire!-centric indie-rock world, everything old becomes new again. And then it's recycled, imitated and squeezed dry of any original meaning. So at first, it's understandable that the Living Blue's first full-length for Minty Fresh might cause a cynical reaction especially since Fire, Blood, Water's influences are obviously cobbled together from power-pop cult figures and college-rock gods of the past. ("Tell Me Leza" alone simultaneously conjures the psychedelic jangle of early Church, the Replacements' skidding-off-the-tracks urgency and R.E.M.'s ragged garage-rock; other tracks invoke a noisier version of fellow northern-Illinois rockers Material Issue.) But further listens to the album reveal an irrepressible energy and spark to the tunes that make each twirling riff, '80s-underground-rock echo and spring-loaded backbeat feel somehow like a revelation.
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