The Future's Always Perfect by The Minders
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Short on running time, but long on charm, the third full-length from Portland, Oregon ensemble the Minders bursts with irrepressibly catchy indie-pop confections. Whether by design or mere coincidence, the similarity between the chord progression of the opener, "It's So Hard" and the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" points up the band's Anglophile tendencies; "All The Way Round," which closes the 26-minute program, could pass for an outtake from Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister. But the Minders bear the closest semblance to are fellow Rose City residents Quasi, with whom they share an emphasis on boy-girl vocals, somersaulting drums, and vintage keyboard textures. In the hands of member Rebecca Cole, the latter element is easily the most memorable of the band's assets on this delightful disc, from the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"-on-45-not-33-RPM organ of "Tearaway," to the slide whistle-sounding synthesizer curlicues that ornament "Hahaha." --Kurt B. Reighley