1. One these bands is new and has released an album on In the Red, one of the best of the year.
2. Pitchfork has found one of them worth writing about, even though describing them as "charmingly antiquated".
3. One of them actually knows how to play their instruments well.
4. One of them has covered The Beach Boys, while the other has settled for reworking "Be My Baby".
5. One of them has covered Radiohead. The other hasn't (yet).
Other than that it's not much that sets Christmas Island and Heartworms apart. Christmas Island has definitely been helped by the current hip-factor of ramshackle guitars and would most likely have been dismissed as 'twee' in 1994 when Heartworms debuted with the smashing "Thanks For the Headache". Both Christmas Island's music and lyrics are very simple, but very addictive. Take "My Baby" for example, strummed chords over thumping drums and the chorus "my baby, I miss you, in my dreams I still kiss you". All you need for a perfect pop song! I'm buying Blackout Summer now.