We Americans tragically underestimate the importance of time off to revitalize our cheap, weary souls, working more hours than the people of any other country and letting our paid vacation time gather dust. The Rentals, led by singer-songwriter Matt Sharp, understand the value of getting some rest. After a seven-year hiatus, the retro-pop titans returned to the limelight in 2006 with a well-received tour of Europe, Japan and the U.S., and this year, the band is set to release its first new music since 1999's Seven More Minutes. Of course, Sharp wasn't actually resting all those years. Since leaving his post as bassist for Weezer in 1998, he's been busy with solo records, Weezer lawsuits and playing with Cake's Greg Brown. But the time off from the Rentals clearly did Sharp some good and has resulted in a batch of new, richly orchestrated songs that combine the sweet, synthy glitz of the group's debut with the tart pop smarts of Minutes. This show will be well worth taking in on a school night. After all, you can always take the next day off.
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