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COMET GAIN (Buy CDs by this artist)
Casino Classics (Wiiija/X-mas) 1995
Tigertown Pictures (Kill Rock Stars) 1999

The soul bus let off the pop children in Oxford, England, and what sprouted was Comet Gain, a simply appointed and thoroughly enticing bedsit quintet that afflicts the alluring tunefulness of Heavenly with equally mild doses of guitar punk, garage-rock and the impulse that once directed Paul Weller toward the world of Curtis Mayfield. Sarah Bleach and guitarist David Christian take turns giving amateurish airy voice to catchy songs that aren't, in fact, as lyrically intriguing as their titles ("Ghost of the Roman Empire," "Chevron Action Flash," "Original Arrogance") promise. Still, the blend of Jax's organ and Hoffner Burns' snappy drumming give the best tracks a solid dose of beamed-in '60s, feeding a pointedly English effort and resulting in such winners as "A Million and Nine," "Stay With Me Til Morning" and the horn-charged revue blast, "A Kind of Loving." Daniel Treacy of the Television Personalities wrote the liner notes for Casino Classics, which says more about who the band's friends are than how their adorable sound leans. The American edition adds a couple of tracks from a 1993 Wiiija compilation single to the original UK issue.

[Terry Rompers]