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SCREAMING MEEMEES (Buy CDs by this artist)
If This Is Paradise, I'll Take the Bag (NZ Propeller) 1983

For all the offbeat get-up, packaging and names, this Auckland foursome plays relatively conventional pop-rock (though some of it with a fashionably quirky sound). Strengths: tunefully boyish vocals, melodies that pull you in a after a few listens and a lack of fuss and worry — even when the Meemees are, according to the lyrics, worried — that's refreshingly ingenuous but not cutesy. The ringing guitars recall the sound of Stuart Adamson when he was in the Skids but again minus the tension. Added bits of keyboards help fill out the sound. A dash more substance and these guys — very popular at home — could graduate to world class.

[Jim Green]