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OXFORD COLLAPSE:: Bits (Album Review)

After graduating from Strokes-y newbies on “Some Wilderness” to Feelies-influenced art-rockers on “A Good Ground,” Brooklyn’s Oxford Collapse jumped to Sub Pop for 2006’s immensely likable “Remember the Night Parties.”

Album 4 finds them shelving that trademark tangle of guitar for noisier yet sharper anthem-making. Some songs rocket forward like vintage Buzzcocks or Superchunk, while others, such as the cello-kissed “A Wedding,” are quieter and prettier. But the trio still traffics in grabby, half-shouted refrains — mostly coming from guitarist Michael Pace — starting with the memorable opener, “Electric Arc”: “I can’t remember things / I just don’t know what to do.”

Oxford Collapse reportedly wrote 30 songs for this record, keeping most of them short and not finishing the lyrics on many until right before they were put to tape. That would explain the more straightforward feel of “BITS,” and why the band can’t quite match the heady, smart-acre highs of “Remember the Night Parties.” With that said, by this point Pace has an incredibly tight musical bond with bassist Adam Rizer and drummer Dan Fetherston — each of whom contribute to the songwriting — and it’s hard not to smile at lyrics about a guy who “got jacked up playing leapfrog.”