Like their multinational UK-based peers the Earlies, there's something about Brit buzz band Guillemots that's too self-indulgently whimsical. Even if you can overlook their faerie-dusted handles (MC Lord Magrao? Aristazabal Hawkes?) and the squiggly draw-rings and acid-damaged bloggage on their website, the tunes on their first official North American release - which, like the Earlies' recent album, combines previously issued EPs - feature tooth-itchingly cutesy dream-pop washed with swooshes of twinkly harp, seabird squawks and an excessive use of trippy effects that make the guitars sound like spaceships. Songs about dragons and hundreds of ringing telephones would be far more listenable if not for the fact that singer Fyfe Dangerfield sounds like he's trying way too hard for a deliberately wacky vocal delivery. He shifts from gnomish falsettos to watery bellows with a grating, calculated self-consciousness.
Guillemots float on down to the Horseshoe Wednesday (March 15).