AM/FM Mutilate Us

Releasing two records in a matter of six months is generally unheard of, but Philadelphia's AM/FM believe it can be done. Mutilate Us, their debut record from earlier this year, is a lo-fi blend of pop, psychedelia and indie rock with obvious nods to Guided By Voices, Modest Mouse and the Beach Boys. In fact, their beautiful take on the Beach Boys' "Disney Girl (1957)" is as close as it gets to Bruce Johnston performing the original. What makes Mutilate Us great, besides the well-crafted pop songs, the exquisite instrumentation and the honeysweet vocals, are the little things: the falsetto back up vocals, the occasional screeches and how the harmony can fall out of tune and still contain its composure. Brian Sokel and Michael Parsell's second album, Getting Into Sinking, begins with the wonderfully title "Virgins! Virgins!" and doesn't slow down. Not a sequel to their debut, but a friendly companion, this record sounds less home-made and more full, detracting slightly from the interesting textures they achieved on Mutilate Us, but with more confidence. "If We Burned All The Assholes The Earth Would Look Like The Sun" is an uplifting jingle complimented by a nice trombone; "Head Gone Vertical" has the most interesting hip-hop beat indie rock has heard all year and this time around, Leonard Cohen is the prey as they cover "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" with the utmost respect. (Polyvinyl)