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Thomas Function

The Alabama foursome Thomas Function makes its label home on Fat Possum, that Epitaph offshoot that began as a blues imprint. That family tree indeed tells you a bit about the band's sound — propelled largely by a punky euphoria but informed by a bit of a Muscle Shoals thrust. (Check out those soulful organ stabs.) Yes, this is low-pretense, vaguely retro-sounding stuff of the kind that's de rigueur in the circles of rock lovers who are exhausted by the overproduction of Animal Collective, Dirty Projects, and Grizzly Bear, et al. Where Thomas Function sets itself apart from a lot of the shitgaze/lo-fi/garage/whatever pack, though, is with tunes that are, at their core, downright strummy and feel-good. A brain-sticking song like "In the Light of Day," for instance, could almost be an outtake from "Take It Easy"-era Eagles. That's a compliment, not an insult; there's no shame in sticking some feel-good hooks under all those layers of fuzz.

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