Parakeet Shonen Hearts

Taking its cue from Britain's long-established guitar-driven indie-rock lineage, Parakeet's Shonen Hearts is a six-track EP that recalls the pop prowess of Teenage Fanclub while employing the fuzzed-out ferocity of pre-Isn't Anything My Bloody Valentine. Fronted by full-time Yuck bassist/vocalist Mariko Doi, on the Londoners' debut EP, Parakeet unleash a storm of slacker-infused guitar pop and whammy bar theatrics, creating a heady mix of '90s rock revivalism. Anchored by Doi's Bethany-Cosentino-by-way-of-Damo-Suzuki wail, the modest three-piece are somewhat successful at filling the void left by shoegaze's forefathers, delivering rampant reverb and walls of complex distortion ("Hiccups," "Darumasanga"). At times, the young band even sound close to Lemonheads levels of greatness, notably on the detuned strumming of "Toumono" and the pop-punk of the title track. But due to the group's decidedly lo-fi production, it's hard to find the songwriter's intent under layers upon layers of sonic gunk, with the majority of the album's 20 minutes sounding more like Blink-182's Buddha than Pavement's Watery Domestic. (Independent)