Named after the North Pacific island that became the UK’s nuclear test field in the 1950s, Christmas Island are keen to let us know how their lo-fi pop is sweet on the surface but as sinister as a mushroom cloud at its core. What ‘Blackout Summer’ really suggests though, is something far simpler – that this San Diego duo can be brilliantly melodious in their sun-baked rock’n’roll and equally as forgettable. They’re The Beach Boys’ slacker cousin, shouting love songs instead of singing them, but penning tracks like the twee ‘Dinosaurs’ from the same unquestionably talented gene pool. And that’s what wins out here. Tracks like the frantic ‘Anxiety Attack’ are neither well played nor well crafted, simply songs that you learn to accept wading through to get to the decent sized booty, decorated with sweet douchebag confession ‘It’s True’, the album’s title track and ‘Egypt’, which sounds like our own Graffiti Island, all of which are deadly infectious, y’know, like radiation mince pies.

By Stuart Stubbs

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