LAST DAYS OF APRIL Ascend To The Stars (Bad Taste)

"Ascend To The Stars" is Swedish band Last Days Of April's fourth album, and it's lovely. They play glorious, heartfelt synth/guitar pop, wriggling with gorgeous melodies that snuggle up inside your skull. Think A-Ha meeting The Cardigans, lightly bathed in the kind of melancholic Americana that bands such as Grandaddy, Mercury Rev and Wheat have patented and sprinkled with the young Brian Wilson's sonic sparkle and you'll be close to what makes Last Days Of April special. "Ascend To The Stars" is crammed with lovely, jangly songs that will probably sound even finer on hot summer days, a sugary trip that reaches its climax on the long, languid instrumental coda to "At Your Most Beautiful" (yes, they have sort of snaffled the title from R.E.M., but having attached it to a tune as sweet as this it seems churlish to complain). By the light of such loveliness, the press release's claims of rave reviews in Kerrang! and support slots with At The Drive-In and Chris Cornell are further remarkable testament to the universality of Last Days Of April's music.