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Close your eyes and you can picture the scene. Ominous piano thunder rolls as the musicians approach their instruments, dank amber silhouettes. Electronic sparkles signal the drums and ignite the rhythm. Bright white houselights pop and flood the room, synchronized with the guitar melody. "Words," the opening track of The Last Broadcast by Manchester trio Doves, is all energetic chime and charm, giving the audience time to soak in its own energy. The chorus, far beyond modern rock phonetics, delivers pure catharsis: "Words/They mean nothing/You can't hurt me." Then the dynamics shift from fuzz punch to lullaby as Jimi Goodwin's atmospheric vocals settle like clouds on "N.Y.": "Let's go while we can/Put your finger on the map/Who cares where it lands." The elegant finger-picking of "M62 Song" and overcast mood of "Friday's Dust" invite the closed-eye sway. Then the show closes with "Caught by the River," a gorgeous acoustic love letter to a prodigal son. Although not a live album, Doves' The Last Broadcast captures the heartbeat and emotional voltage of seeing your favorite band live. So be ready to have a new favorite band.
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Shawn Bean

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