Music Menu (1/17/09)

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Coma League Imagine a Tusk-era Lindsey Buckingham jamming in tight quarters with a Murmur-era Peter Buck, backed by an any-era Swell Maps, all hopped up on a muscle relaxer speedball. Think a Southern-fried garage band sound (back before bands started trying to sound like garage bands, but rather came about it honestly). OK. You know what? Fuck it. The pet project of the super-talented show poster designer and visual artist Ben Gelnett, Coma League have a tasty little EP out thru Kinnikinnik Records, and a listen to that will tell you more than I can. All I can say is: me likee. With Matthew Paul Butler and the Beards of Power and The Flying Eyes. Milestone (Timothy C. Davis)

The Explorer's Club On its polished 2008 debut, Freedom Wind, this young Charleston-based sextet probably took their Brian Wilson/Beach Boys obsession too far into "tribute band" territory. But chalk it up to youthful exuberance (they're not the first or last to be so seduced) rather than a lack of ideas because their best songs incorporate a Southern wistfulness that suggests more diverse and intriguing new paths lay ahead. Even at that, you still want to doff your cap at how artfully they recreate any Wilsonian era, from baggies-and-boards surf pop to Pet Sounds harmonic alchemy. Paired with the out-from-hibernation power-pop/Indie Rot fun of Poprocket. The Evening Muse (John Schacht)

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