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Fixers: We'll Be the Moon (Mercury) 

Fixers are an Oxford-based quintet making what could easily be identified as dream pop or shoegaze. They're on the jaunty end of that spectrum. There's nothing dark or moody about their debut, We'll Be the Moon, which can be, oddly enough, a bit of a drag.

One shouldn't knock a band for being in a good mood, especially when that band sounds as polished and orchestral as Fixers does here. But something about the inspirational register of these songs can be a problem. Perhaps it's the zeitgeist's fault that tracks like "Majesties Ranch" or "Pink Light" feel like anthems in search of a car commercial.

Though, honestly, We'll Be the Moon has plenty of charm. "World of Beauty" is a lovely slice of psychedelia, and it's as close as they come to melancholy—which, in the hands of Fixers, comes off as a languid, astral aimlessness. "Floating Up" also is tinged with a bit more dynamism. But there's a highly pitched quality to all of the songs that can feel cheerfully strident.

Songs like "Crystals" strive to do a lot. There are many tempo changes, from lackadaisical to caffeine-rush hyperbole, and lots of spacey squelching and Beach Boys-esque harmonizing.

Fixers have committed to their "more is more" approach to a degree that deserves some respect, but it's less certain that they're a band capable of having you love them. It would be like hanging with a tribe of erstwhile bon vivants who double as motivational speakers.

More by Sean Bottai

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