Dogs Die in Hot Cars, Phoenix

Like the Futureheads, Scotland's Dogs Die in Hot Cars is ensuring that XTC gets its fair due in the current Britpop revival. On Please Describe Yourself, the group's exuberant debut, DDIHC sings about Paul Newman's eyes, having no need for a barbershop and loving Lucy Liu, all over tightly arranged art-pop melodies buffed to a sheen by veteran producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. Witty French pop-rockers Phoenix have a new live album out that's not as much fun as their live show and not as slick as their studio albums.
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Mikael Wood