Unconfirmed reports indicate that Brighton, MA
frontman Matthew Kerstein ditched the well-buzzed Scotland Yard Gospel Choir because that band wasn't 1986 enough. But when indie almost-knowns pay a nostalgic visit to the Reagan era, they best bring hooks and not just New Order midi settings. Thankfully, on its self-titled EP, Brighton, MA does just that and more. The band (which is from Chicago) constructs a keyboard colossus and exhilarating pop single in "Bet You Never Thought" and then breaks down to the finger-picked "Good Kind of Crazy," before escalating through a jammed-out spray of mellotron, cello and trombone for "Horseracing," a climax having little to do with playing the ponies and everything to do with the playing the thrills of rock-ensemble dynamics for all they're worth.