WHO ARE THEY? A quartet of alt-rock everymen from the hinterlands of Nevada City, Calif. And before you get the wrong impression, their ironically narcissistic handle was actually bestowed upon them by a local barfly.
WHAT IS THIS? Their sophomore set of no-frills, power-chord guitar-rock flecked with punk, surf, new wave, power pop and more — and an album whose unfussy approach belies serious songwriting chops and a slew of top-shelf influences.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The mutant love child of The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Weezer, The Cars, Jesus & Mary Chain and a few other acts — set against frontman Tom Bevitori’s frank tales of drug abuse, alienation, political tribalism and other public and private forms of dysfunction.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Taking The Hits. Or perhaps Not Skin Deep.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Any way you can — it’s not like you’re ever going to hear these guys on an actual radio.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Straightforward, riffy, chugging, uncontrived, punky, punchy, crunchy, relaxed, bittersweet, mature.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Anthemic bar-band nuggets like The Shape I’m In, Lose My Head and Wet For the Weekend. But really, almost all the songs are worth a spin.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘Some bands don’t need to reinvent the wheel — because the one they’ve got still works just fine.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Anytime you need a fix of some unabashedly old-school rock.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A BAR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Your local neighbourhood dive that hasn’t changed in forever.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Beauty doesn’t come cheap.