Music » Critics' Picks

Brighton, MA

7 p.m. Friday, September 21. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City.

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Unconfirmed reports indicate that Brighton, MA frontman Matthew Kerstein ditched the well-buzzed Scotland Yard Gospel Choir because that band wasn't 1986 enough. But when indie almost-knowns pay a nostalgic visit to the Reagan era, they best bring hooks — and not just New Order midi settings. Thankfully, on its self-titled EP, Brighton, MA does just that — and more. The band (which is from Chicago) constructs a keyboard colossus and exhilarating pop single in "Bet You Never Thought" and then breaks down to the finger-picked "Good Kind of Crazy," before escalating through a jammed-out spray of mellotron, cello and trombone for "Horseracing," a climax having little to do with playing the ponies — and everything to do with the playing the thrills of rock-ensemble dynamics for all they're worth.

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