That Brit-pop crispness is not affect. UK émigré Glynn Wedgewood rises from the embers of one of Austin's most thrilling imports, IV Thieves, on this eponymous debut from local fivepiece Stereo Is a Lie. And like many a rock band, its first mistake is the superfluous keyboardist (sorry Justin Scott). Badly underproduced by Wedgewood and guitarist Danny Stapleton, SIAL's songs come artificially thickened with a soupy blanket of keys that draws all the instruments toward some sonic lint stop. Double guitars, Wedgewood's vocal yen, and even the unruly solo on "It's Too Late" are subsumed under the wash. The stripped-down and plaintive intro to album midpoint "I Won't" breaks through the fog before being swallowed, and when a keyboard figure emerges fully formed, it's unwelcome short-circuitry on the order of "Get It Right." A palpable dollop of Oasis on the back end ("Fine Lines") can't save Stereo Is a Lie. Back to mono.
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