It's tough being A.C. Newman's relative. Kathryn Calder, Newman's niece, will forever be linked to his band, the New Pornographers, and not just because she's in the group. Her band, Immaculate Machine, sounds a lot like the power pop troupe, but nowhere near as developed or accomplished.
Their new disc, Fables, is a valiant effort, and taken alone is a decent release. Unfortunately, it's hard to think about the band without imagining its older, wiser and far more engaging relative.
That's not to say Immaculate Machine haven't learned a thing or two from the Pornos. Disc opener Jarhead is loud, enthusiastic, infectious and includes some killer complex harmonies. (It also features, oddly, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos and the Cribs.)
However, even the rest of the record's singalong-worthy moments can't save it from sounding like a New Pornographers B-side compilation.
Immaculate Machine play the Horseshoe August 1.