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Lefty's Deceiver

Philadelphia's Lefty's Deceiver simply defines the term "power trio." Big, tricky rhythms, great guitar hooks, solid melodies with memorably anthemic choruses, the whole nine yards. Their songs feature a dollop of the intricate thinking person's pop of newer indie acts like Death Cab For Cutie, a blast of the rough and complex post-punk sound so many of us associate with Washington, DC, and a hint of the warm, busy, guitar-based post-rock practiced by so many myopic young men across the land in recent years.

So call Lefty's Deceiver indie rock, because they are, but the point is, they cover a lot of ground with a great deal of confidence. Andy Williams's guitar parts are especially good, agile and intelligent, never resorting to rock clichés or boring repetition -- sometimes a bit reminiscent of Polvo's dazzling six-string mathematics. Williams also sings, in an endearingly boyish, slightly raspy warble. Ed Hogarty contributes the blissfully deep, quick moving bass lines. Mike Kennedy offers varied, sometimes slightly jazzy, percussion and on some songs also plays soft keys that feel like a tiny breath of Memphis soul. The occasional subtle effect accentuates the dynamics of Lefty Deceiver's songs.

Lefty's Deceiver's 2000 debut album was titled 45:00. They came back in 2001 with another, Conversations on Favored Nations, featuring "Plans for Doubts." Shortly after that album's release, bass player Ed Hogerty left the group to focus on his band The Bigger Lovers and Kristine Muller took his place. To celebrate, LD put out a six-song mini-album called Process Junior ("Horizon Is Faster"), on which they continued to develop their patented blend of jittery abrasiveness and smart hooks.