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I pedaled to the Khyber last night to see Stars, my second blind date in as many nights with a Canadian pop band. Once again, the decision was a good one. Live, Stars could be described as an atmospheric Britpop outfit; on record, it’s more of an electro-twee-pop affair, without the detached cynicism. The band does both equally well. You can definitely hear traces of The Smiths and New Order, but somehow Stars’ heart on its sleeve doesn’t come off as embarrassed as Morrissey’s, and its stage presence is both fun and heartfelt. The whole package is passionate, sweet, and unforgettable.

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