ACETONE If You Only Knew (Hut)

Acetone are a trio from Los Angeles, and "If You Only Knew" is their second album proper. Their press release, which Kev kindly sent along with the CD, suggests they sound like "the Velvet Underground colliding with Sonic Youth and Mazzy Star", with "guitar nuances sometimes recalling David Gilmour’s work on Dark Side Of The Moon" (and, uh, sometimes not, presumably), along with the classic "Acetone are what potential energy sounds like". (That wouldn’t get you far in National Curriculum Science).

That’ll teach me to read press releases: far from sounding like some gruesome motorway pileup involving the past and present masters of American avante garde sonic terrorism, Acetone are a welcome addition to the ranks of what the Sunday Times has christened ‘Sadcore’ (or ‘complaint rock’, as the very excellent film "Clueless" put it), alongside American Music Club, the Red House Painters and the woeful Codeine. An atmosphere of, mostly, unruffled calm pervades "If You Only Knew", and even when the pace quickens to a stately trot, such as on "99" and "The Final Say" Richie Lee’s vocals struggle to rise above a whimper: it’s the sound of Spiritualized discovering an old Neil Young songbook, or the Blue Nile holidaying in Nashville, and within its own modest limits it succeeds admirably. Bereft of much of the psychological baggage beloved of many of their peers, "If You Only Knew" is the perfect soundtrack to soothe you back to life after an over-indulgent Saturday night, or provide some atmospherics in the wee small hours.