Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter

We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.

Now that the ascendancy of revivalist outfits such as the Liars and Interpol has spawned countless imitators, you’d think your average 20-something with a guitar and an ironic T-shirt would have moved on. The formula’s just gotten too easy. Take the right haircut, add a slavish devotion to some not-yet-overexploited ’80s band and a nice Spin spread with Winona Ryder, and there you have it: success, at the price of coolness. Of course, things, as they so often are, might be a little different in Canada. Take the Stills, a group of four pinup-ready Montreal natives—”multilingual art-school socialists,” according to their bio—who have toured with the Rapture and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and been hailed by the British press as the biggest thing since, oh, the Libertines. The Stills’ obvious model is the grandiose guitar-wielders in Echo and the Bunnymen, and they channel their heroes pretty well: The new Logic Will Break Your Heart nails the jagged lines and cavernous production of that band’s postpunk heyday, although it also occasionally delves into poppy electronica more reminiscent of the Postal Service. Album-opener “Lola Stars and Stripes” finds frontman Tim Fletcher dropping a few lines only Conor Oberst could get away with: “We all need to feel secure we’re so middle-class/But I’m still waiting for next week’s chemical blast.” But by the time the song finds its way into the first chorus, in which the simple bass line and swirling guitars recede and Fletcher’s voice, nearly unadorned, calls out to a young, scared American paramour—”Lola, Lola/Will the world end me and you”—you almost forget these guys are far too young for this sort of thing. “Let’s Roll” puts the plodding, reactionary Neil Young effort of the same title to shame, its slow-building drumbeat exploding into a chorus marked as much by Fletcher’s vocal restraint as a stadium-friendly hook. There are a couple of other standouts here, too: the sparsely arranged electropop beauty “Animals + Insects,” in which Fletcher goes on about either alienation or mass murder, and disc-closer “Yesterday Never Tomorrows,” in which a lonely keyboard gives way to one of the more irresistible halfhearted choruses you’ve ever heard. Granted, the album as a whole doesn’t hold up next to the best efforts of the Stills’ forebears—Heaven Up Here it definitely ain’t—but it still far exceeds reasonable expectations. Like that VW commercial featuring “Pink Moon,” Logic Will Break Your Heart reminds us that not everything wrapped in packaging has to suck. —Brian Montopoli