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In Brief: XTC

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After ending seven years of silence with last spring's lovely, symphonic Apple Venus Volume 1, XTC -- the most dedicated of eighties Beatles devotees -- are now in album-release overdrive. On Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) (TVT), Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding pick up their electric guitars for a romp as vigorous as any since 1982's English Settlement. As always, the cheese factor remains high. But when Partridge sings, over a chugging beat, "I'm stupidly happy, it's surely a sin," it's infectious enough to be convincing.


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