The Polyphonic Spree offer one of this year's most daunting prospects: a 27-strong group of people dressed in white robes. Thankfully religious cultdom is not on the agenda as the group turn out to be a band of talented musicians who only seem united in the quest for tunefulness. Despite having strength in numbers, the sound is not oppressive. It touches on influences like The Beach Boys but they have clearly been taking notes from the more modern-day psychedelic-pop of Grandaddy to make them more relevant today. Recent single 'Soldier Girl' received a fair amount of airplay on UK radio stations and is probably the best example of their quest for pop's holy grail. Running not far behind it are 'It's The Sun' and 'Have A Day/Celebratory'. For those requiring more depth 'Days Like This Keep Me Warm' and 'Middle Of The Day' feature subtler undertones. The main minus point would have to be the 30-minute final track where The Polyphonic Spree decide to churn out a piece of instrumental irrelevance which no one will want to listen to. Ignoring that gripe, 'The Beginning Stages Of...' is a more than competent album of happy melodies.