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In an era when you can practically take every album into the critic's version of the CSI laboratory (complete with Zero 7 playing in the background) in order to determine its exact points of reference and the width of its bandwagon tread, it's refreshing to hear something like Welcome's Sirs, so fuck-all off the mark and on point. Although the Seattle four-piece has clearly taken ragged cues from the Nuggets compilations, borrowing the best tendencies of '60s psych to drop a melody through the bottom of a gutbucket, there's so much more here, including trace elements of Mudhoney, Sonic Youth and the Pixies' perfect-trash-rock-candy singles. Meanwhile, tunes such as "Bunky" throw a Cocteau Twins curve of beautiful female vocals encased in ice noise. If Sirs has a recurring presence, it's one of coarse spontaneity and a relentless sense that Welcome creates these glorious messes with hard work and harder luck. "Lo-fi" might seem like a fitting term for it all, but such a toss-off adjective does little justice to a band with this level of talent and flippant boundlessness.
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Terry Sawyer

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