Some couples finish each other's sentences. Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson, this English trio's guitarist and bassist, take that tendency into The Shining-twins territory, reciting most of their second disc's clenched-teeth lyrics in a sort of deadpan harmony. Delectably gloomy ballads like "Hometowns," where the two practically strain to out-blasé each other, might actually give you goosebumps. Other times they crank up the amps, the drums stomp in, and it's as if Meg's staging a proxy fight for control of the White Stripes. The band does loud and lurching as well they do as caustic and drifting, but catharsis never quite comes — the singers just manage to keep each other in check. In a way, it's touching.
Listen to "Sweet Sour":
• Photos: Random Notes