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Who needs backing tracks when you have as much punch as Manchester, UK’s The Answering Machine, just wrapping up their post-CMJ stint with a second-to-last NYC-area show at Bruar Falls tonight. Though their set was plagued with minor technical difficulties (like the crapped out keyboard tracks as well as a vocal mic that went in and out throughout), the band didn’t even blink, and instead, chose to overcome by pummeling through their faster rock songs that didn’t demand a dose of electronica.

It’s obvious that The Answering Machine’s idea to stick around the NYC area for a series of shows (and recording) before going back to the UK has paid off, since their front lines were festooned with pogo’ing guys and shimmying girls who knew every tune.  The band’s early b-side ‘Oh Christina’, hits ‘Obviously Cold’ and the anthemic ‘Oklahoma’ were surefire crowd-pleasers, as is most of their standout debut album Another City, Another Sorry.  Though some of their choruses sound uncannily similar to the heartfelt pop licks of their Liverpool neighbors, The Wombats, I can forgive them for any obvious influences worn on their sleeves since they’re just as infectious.

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Vocalist/guitarist Martin Colclough has the boyish antics, cheerful wit and unstoppable energy that translates as instant charm, while librarian-cool bassist Gemma Evans is his steady counterpart, providing a steely, Joy Division-esque bass purr that keeps this Mancunian quartet’s songs from literally bouncing off of the walls.–Madeline Virbasius-Walsh/top photo by Tear-n Tan, bottom by Zabatay