Curiosity eventually got the better of me and I put in an order at amazon.co.uk. I justified the high shipping charges by ordering a book that also hasn't been released here, and the album was in my hands a little over a week later. As it happens that's one of the best, if not the best, music purchases I made all year.
Trying to describe how music sounds is always a fool's errand, but I can say that if you like the Strokes you'll probably dig this. But it doesn't really sound like the Strokes. It's got a definite 70s/80s feel to it, and I can hear shades of everything from the Beatles to the Beach Boys to Rod Stewart, mashed up with the indie rock/pop of the 80s and early 90s that played so heavily in my formative years. There are several songs where I'm thinking to myself "that sounds like...that one song...what song was that?" but I just can't get it. Which probably means that it doesn't sound precisely like any one thing, but rather like an original piece of work that wears a lot of outstanding influences on its sleeve.
101 and Everyone Gets a Star are worth the price of admission alone -- two songs that don't need a lot of time to sink in. The rest of the album grows on me every time I listen, and I only hear one dud (Cartoon Music for Superheroes, conveniently located at track 1).
Plus, the album art is great (this pic is small, but it's the best I could do):It may not be worth it to you to pay the import premium, but keep your eyes open next year. This is one damn fine record.