Album: Monarchy, Monarchy (Mercury)

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The Independent Culture

With that monolithic name and a press release packed with words like "widescreen", Monarchy have you braced for a yawn-a-thon.

And indeed, the opening tracks of their debut recall horrible turn-of-the-1980s MOR angst such as Ph.D. Before long, however, the duo strike gold by applying 21st-century synths to 1980s pop principles, shimmering like a reborn Heaven 17. They'll play well with the Keane/Feeling demographic, but they probably deserve better.