If your first reaction is to roll your eyes when you come across another indie band from Sweden, you’re not alone. The overwhelming export from that country is jarring without even considering how everyone essentially sounds the same. That being said, the sound sure is sweet, huh? The Mary Onettes take Cure-like revivalism to the extreme, and the band’s 2007 self-titled debut walked the weakly chalked line between inspired pop and boring emotional trash. Some songs worked—like “Lost,” still in heavy rotation on my personal playlists—but most of the rest left me cold. The new record “Islands,” despite its obvious title, is an improvement, as the band steps out of the minor-chord darkness and embraces its inner new-wave soul wholeheartedly. Strong, easy-to-digest melodies are matched with heavily reverbed vocals and occasional time-bending synths. “Nice” would be an adequate description, as this is ethereal shoegaze without the cloud of distortion. I’d like to see the band try its hand at a dance track. (Tom Lynch)
April 24 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, (773)525-2508, 10:30pm. $10.