This Manchester five-piece couldn't have picked a worse time to release their stateside debut. Strike up a tipsy pub conversation about the new Spokes record and the reactions might involve Julian Casablancas. But Everyone I Ever Met
brims with grandiose sweeps of sonic bliss that at times recall some melodic spawn of Sigur Rós and Arcade Fire - which is about as far as it gets from the Strokes' awaited March comeback. "We Can Make It Out" stands above the rest, its harmonies creating a catchy momentum that will require multiple repeats. There's a bunch of builders, opener "345" and "Forever the Bridge" among them, complete with crashing crescendos of violins, tribal drums, and rousing choruses. The guitars blend well with the choral arrangements in a way that suggests what would happen if Jarvis Cocker suddenly went shoegaze or maybe joined Mogwai. But that's just it; much here is good, even great, but it's all too familiar. Not in a good way, like "This song is so instantly recognizable that I feel I've known it forever." No, it's more like "Wasn't this song on the most recent Athlete album?