Remember in 1997, when you'd had just about enough of bands that would step on the distortion pedal and yell at the top of their lungs for the choruses, then everything but the bass and drums would drop out for the verses and get all spooky like the Pixies? Sure you do. I bet most of you have reached a similar saturation point with the gurgle and gripe contingent of nü-metal and industrial. It's kinda cute the first 100 times to hear someone sound like the underlord of Hell and then switch to the kid that delivers your newspaper, but once you've established where the dynamics are, it's as predictable as an amp that goes from 1 to 11. If you're not listening carefully, you might want to relegate Selfless to that scrap heap. But they have a secret weapon — it's the keyboard player who isn't listed as a member on their Web sites but still figures in some of the band pictures and on their recent CD, Clarity. Known only as "Kevin," this guy's orchestral flourishes makes Selfless sound like Norwegian black metal on cuts like "Wasted Life" and "Clarity," Europop on "The Unforgettable," and some evil cross between acid house music and Greg Hawkes of The Cars on "This Won't Take Long." It's as if he showed up with only one Eno strategy card that read, "Play the most opposite thing to accentuate the rest of the band" and, by gum, if it doesn't work every time. And just a listen to the savage joy of "This Won't Take Long" proves that this is a band that knows what it's doing at all times.

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