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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 121 - 08/09/06

The Close-ups
2 AM in Flat 3b
Northern Round Square Records

Songwriter Carl Green and teenage singer Abby Connor make up the Close-Ups. They're also the basis of a cartoon Gorillaz style band with more members. The cartoon band is a product of Green's imagination and they get the glory. Complicated? No.

The band's chirpy indie pop can be enjoyed and the cartoon band that adorns the sleeve and booklet is pretty funny to look at. Pictures of the real band also exist. The songs deal with kidnapping your boss and lesbian encounters with Jean Shrimpton. You know, fun?

The semi-serious "They Drove My Daddy Away" gives wide room to Abby's helium-induced little girl coo. "Mascara Dave" is bouncy and fun. The indie Gorillaz now recall indie tweesters like Tallulah Gosh and the Shop Assistants. Connor must have been breast-fed their albums. "Come on Home" deals with shambolic namechecks and chirpy cartoon voices. The spirit of pop lives and is having the day of its life.

The Close-ups take all their pop sass and make the concept work.

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