EMETREX The Birds Your Brothers (Infur)

Despite an unpromising name that suggests record cleaning cloths, Emetrex are a Boston trio whose history has become entwined with that of the mighty mighty Wheat - they briefly shared a guitarist and a mastering engineer - so I'm happy to report that they sound closer to their aforementioned contemporaries that any other band I can think of. Which is of course a compliment, rather than a criticism: Emetrex play the same woozy, blissful, dislocated kind of music, and with a loose-knit coherence that belies the fact that they only formed at the beginning of the year. What they have yet to acquire is Wheat's knack of fashioning casually fantastic songs, the five on this mini album (untitled on my copy) make the right catalogues of noises but don't really itch their way under your skin. Hopefully - perhaps with time and the right producer, remembering that Wheat didn't really find themselves until they found David Fridmann - this will soon change, because Emetrex are already well on their way to cult greatness, and "The Birds Your Brothers" is undoubtedly the finest release to reach my ears from the erratic Seriously Groovy stable.

EMETREX Metacomet (Infur)

This Boston band, whose membership includes fringe associations with the mighty Wheat, has been in existence for barely two years but have already produced a fine, intriguing mini album "The Birds Your Brothers". But this debut full length release seems like a step backwards: it's too easy to talk about Emetrex's music in terms of the things it isn't, rather than what it actually achieves. "Metacomet" is slow-moving, hoarsely whispered Americana, Son Volt without the watts, Jolene without the near-arrogant confidence in their marvellous melodies, Sparklehorse sapped of all ambition. This music is even more reluctant to reveal its colours and qualities than the latest Lambchop album, and few listeners are likely to have sufficient patience to help tease them into view. Despite the quite niceness of songs such as "Califone Is Dead" and "Hard To Be", you're left wishing that the band had employed somebody like Americana wonderboy Dave Fridmann to handle production duties rather than doing it all themselves. Under those conditions "Metacomet" could easily have been the equal of its influences, rather than toiling shyly in the shadows of them.

EMETREX Curve Of The Earth (Seriously Groovy)

Following briskly on the heels of their disappointing debut long player "Metacomet", Emetrex's new single reminds this listener, at least, of how intriguing the band can sound when they put some elbow grease into it. Far livelier than anything on the aforementioned album, "Curve Of The Earth" has a tune, a chorus and some angelic female backing vocals, managing to pack the whole kit caboodle into less than two minutes of your time. "Out Of My Sight" is vintage stuff, recalling the band's earlier mini-set "The Birds Your Brothers" in its stifled yearning and wistful "Never had much going on" hookline. "Trip You Up" is synthy and woozy, bringing all those Grandaddy, Mercury Rev and Wheat comparisons flooding back. If only Emetrex could somehow get hold of Dave Fridmann's phone number.