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Be He Me


8 / 10 Rather than choose between the stacks of new, improved genres in rock’s supermarket, Annuals’ debut makes a trolley dash, grabbing cans of rock, boxes of pop and bags of hip-hop, careering through the tills with a packet of prog in their pants. Like Arcade Fire, their complex-but-gleeful songs deploy weird instruments and shifts in moods, but never forget to stuff in a proper chorus. Happily though, these young North Carolinans’ inventiveness and demented humour puts them closer to The Flaming Lips or The Spinto Band, with skewed Beach Boys harmonies on ‘Dry Clothes’; synths on ‘Bleary-Eyed’; and drum’n’bass rhythms on the lovely ‘Ease My Mind’. Plus there are lyrics such as, “I got magic crying out my ass”. Let’s hope these Annuals turn out to be hardy perennials. Emily Mackay

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