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From their name on down, the San Francisco-based Spent Poets flirted with pretension at every move. Lead singer Adam Gates' lyrics dropped references both literary and pop-cultural (Virginia Woolf and other suicidal female writers, the Beatles, and Syd Barrett were particular obsessions), and the group's lavish version of neo-psychedelia includes spoken interludes, found sounds, tape-effect extravaganzas, and exotic, sometimes bizarre instrumentation. Yet the wit and melodic invention of the group's sole album keeps the group from tipping over into preciousness…usually… read more

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