Scissors for Lefty 

Underhanded Romance

The '80s continue to exert a major influence on today's pop bands. Unfortunately, most of them fail to digest these influences and sound like pale imitations of groups long past their sell-by date. Not so the cryptically named Scissors for Lefty. The usual suspects float through the mix — Beatles, Cure, Talking Heads, Cars, Pulp — but the SF band blends them into an airy soufflé that sounds highly original, perhaps due to the knowledge of Malaysian pop brought in by the Krimmel Brothers — pianist Peter and drummer James — whose mom is a big pop star back home. The band sounds bright and happy, even a little goofy, in the best possible way. Onstage they're a hyperactive cyclone of motion and color, bouncing around like a roomful of kids off their meds. That boisterous energy carries over to this recording. Bryan Garza's elastic, anxious vocals explode in unexpected directions on every track, adding to the music's jittery, uncontained vibe. "Nickels and Dimes" is a stomping, hook-laden dance track, while "Got Your Moments" harks back to the keyboard-driven sounds of '60s garage rock with its bouncy pop vibe. On the mellow side is the melancholy "X's are Forever," wherein the band channels early Roxy Music (without the electronics) for a despondent take on lost love.

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