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The Rosebuds 

Night of the Furies (Merge)

The Rosebuds let their inner mirrorball shine on their third CD. The big-sky guitars, sexy guy-gal vocal volleys and transcendent porch-pop melodies the North Carolina band perfected on last year's Birds Make Good Friends are fitted for more glamorous garb and taken out clubbing. At first, Night drops like yet another perfectly good indie-pop band feeling it must defer to blippy beats for some unproven crossover appeal. When neon beats kick in and singer Ivan Howard hits his lowest notes ("Hold On to This Coat," "My Punishment for Fighting"), the vibe is Human League in scuffed Chuck Taylors. But when the mesh meshes, and the strings brush against those dusky guitar lines and sea-shanty backup "woo-ooh"'s ("Cemetery Lawns," "Get Up Get Out"), the Rosebuds exhibit suave songwriting skills that are far ahead of the mass of indieland swooners. Night falls on the Rosebuds as initially less charming, but ultimately stronger for the dancey dice roll.

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More by Eric Davidson

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