Austin trio Culture Wars are ahead of their competition: they show a gift for synth-rock hooks and are fronted by a singer whose voice is multi-dimensional. “Money (Gimme Gimme)” gets right to its edgy groove, allowing the fed-up singer Alex Dugan to sneer “Everyone wants something from me!” (On the downside, the track has a persistent static effect that annoyed some of us.) The band’s best songs, “Bones” and “Lies,” deliver super-catchy hooks: the former is adorned with a trippy synthesizer riff while the latter grabs us with its sudden a cappella section. The singer’s crooner persona is especially impressive on this one. There’s room for a bit more finesse in the tracks, but CW are well on their way.
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