Picks and Pans Main: Music

UPDATED 01/19/2009 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/19/2009 at 01:00 AM EST


It didn't take long for the first exciting new bands of 2009 to emerge. Scotland's Glasvegas and England's Late of the Pier each released debut albums and became overseas sensations last year. Now they're Stateside and actually living up to all the Brit hype.

Glasvegas—the clever name comes from being Glaswegian—was proclaimed "the best new band in Britain" by the influential NME. The finest songs on their self-titled CD, like "Daddy's Gone," make a strong case for that, finding the missing link between '50s and '60s pop and '80s alt-rock.

Late of the Pier, though, is even better. They're certainly more fun, as their stage names—Samuel Dust, Rouge Dog Consuela, Francis Dudley Dance and Jack Paradise—might indicate. These lads make Fantasy Black Channel a trippy rush of dance-rock grooves, squiggly synths and quirky vocals. Just try not jerking your body to a pulse-racing track like "Heartbeat." We dare you.

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