Rumor has it that the major label bigshot who took aside the boys of Irving and told them to choose a "frontman" ended up in critical condition at Cedars Sinai hospital's emergency wedgie clinic. This is a quintet that doesn't work without splitting the spotlight, which is probably why they're so underrated--and why their music is marked with such a variety of pop influences. Irving's new album Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers brews overtones of Joy Division, the Zombies, Gram Parsons and the most English aspect of a certain Liverpool band. However, this is not music for armchair-dwelling record geeks, but active participants; live, the generous spirit between band members flows offstage and infects the audience, a process that often results in dancing, of all things. Be sure to thank the band for the experience; just don't give the members any unsolicited advice.


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