Press faves deliver diamond-hard art-pop

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Score 4

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Don’t hate ’em for the hype: Brooklyn’s Stellastarr* (you have to love that annoying asterisk… er, don’t you?) have hewn a debut of cutting style and often purple passion. Their jagged stomps are a blatant cross between prime Pixies (right down to bassist Amanda Tannen’s Kim Deal impressions on backing vocals) and Hot Hot Heat on a good night, but the motherlode’s so cool that you let it blast by.

“In The Walls” is compellingly sultry, then “Jenny”, a storming she’s-weird-but-irresistible rock moment, assaults both solar plexus and cerebellum. Straight outta art school, and wearing their quotations proudly, their stealthy, staccato rhythms stalk it like they talk it. Deviant, brainy re:teen angst, slightly arrogant, and they kick ass despite themselves. What’s not to love?