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The Lodger 

Grown-Ups (Slumberland)

Wednesday, Jun 20 2007
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You can take your Arctic Monkeys, your Kaiser Chiefs, your Futureheads. To these ears, the Lodger is the most exciting British guitar band to come along since the Wedding Present unleashed George Best on an unsuspecting public in 1987. After a clutch of acclaimed U.K. singles, the Leeds-based trio has delivered a debut LP so chock-full of bristling hooks and acidic lyrics that the dude from the Housemartins must be green with envy. Tunes like "Many Thanks for Your Honest Opinion" and "Kicking Sand" match up with the best of Northern British angst pop, driven by amphetamine drumming, anarchic riffage, and Ben Siddall's bitter worldview ("You say you're doing better / But how long will it last / Till I am doing better / And you're just in the past"). That said, even the euphoric rush of the guitars might grow wearisome over a full album if they weren't leavened by Siddall's singing, which is as delicate and assertive as the Mozer's. Obviously, the Lodger has learned its lesson from Mary Poppins: A spoonful of sugar does indeed make the medicine go down.

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Dan Strachota

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