Local Wire

The Year of Acceleration

If Las Vegas can have its homegrown Britpop, why not Tucson? The Killers acclimated us to Yanks and synths again, but The Year of Acceleration is here to say, "What about surliness and passionate songs about the sun never shining and prescription medicine, then?" This is no ironic re-creation of a bygone sound, but exactly what you'd have expected from any puffy-sleeved Europoppers featured in the pages of The Face — so much so that we had to check the skimpy bio to see if these blokes had actually time-traveled and relocated to the desert. But they are homegrown, and the darlings of both garage-band and the NME. The band's stunning self-released debut cracks nary a smile — that'll be your job once you're seconds into "Can I Die To This," the kind of resignation slip that both erotic asphyxiation experimenters and intentional chair kickers can admire. On anyone else's album, a song called "Seaside Lips" might be a reason to smirk, but these guys pull out all the moody spots. You can even imagine the video: singer Christopher O'Gorman slow walking on a beach, moaning about the mouth he misses, the band inexplicably whooshing and swooshing without amplification behind him along the waterline. Then, O'Gorman starts screaming as synchronized waves crash against the whole band, which is still treating it as just another outdoor gig. And somewhere behind the camera, a director wonders where he can work in his signature, slow-motion milk-bottle-crashing shot.