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Mike St. Jude and the Valentines, Collideascope get graded

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Mike St. Jude and the Valentines

Here's to Your Black and Blue Heart

(Morninghat Music)

myspace.com/mikestjude

Peace and love, acid trips and flower power return on this album from psychedelic group Mike St. Jude and the Valentines. The band embodies the dreamy sound and fantastical Bob Dylan-inspired lyrics of the 1960s. Songs like "Hey Mary Anne" pay homage to '60s love songs and express the simplistic innocence of boy-meets-girl romance. The Beatles-like harmonic guitar chords overpower the sing-songy lyrics. "Tongue Tied" has a nostalgic, hippie aura fused with the Beach Boys' easy-listening sound. "Sweet on the Run" switches to a more melodious classic-rock feel. Overall, the disc stays true to '60s rock with simple guitar strumming, minimalist lyrics and flowery background singers who add a sunny beach vibe perfect for the season. — Amy Booker

Collideascope

You May Not Be Right for This

(Mind the Gap Records)

collideascope.net

"You may not be right for this" chant the guys in Akron-based Collideascope on the title track of their second album. With its electric pop beat and staccato singing, the song sounds very much like another Akron band, Devo. The 13 songs show how much the group has been influenced by other bands. Both the singing and the melody of "Outta Sight, Outta Mind" suggest a Britpop influence, and the tune also uses a small part of "Day Tripper." It's a nod to bassist Rob Hermanowski's deep admiration of the Beatles, especially Paul McCartney. The rest of the CD combines classic-rock, Britpop and southern-rock sounds, as well as psychedelic- and indie-rock. In almost every song, you can identify another band that's done it better. To their credit, the guys successfully blend all these sounds into one; it's just too bad they haven't yet found their own musical voice. — Julia Kazar

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