The Belles

By - Apr 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Jeremy Saperstein

I’m pretty sure I’ve sworn off nice pop records a hundred times. Some sort of social consciousness bug invades my system and I swear I’ll never listen to simple lyrics of love again. But I always crack.

Omerta is a fine record to crack to. The Belles are, surprisingly, only a duo – Christopher Tolle and Jake Cardwell – from Lawrence, Kansas (the stomping grounds of American pop legends The Embarassment), but the sound is anything but sparse.

Filled with power-pop and indie-rock allusions, the record will get a lot of references to other bands whose name start with ‘B’ – Beatles, Big Star, Beach Boys – and that’s not a bad comparison. The opener, “So, I Sing” is a bit of chamber-pop with what sounds like a mellotron and some gorgeously lush backing vocals, while “You Can’t Have It All” rocks with a bit of acid lead guitar seemingly lifted directly from a Buffalo Springfield record.

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