Post-punk is sneaking up on exactly no one these days, but that doesn't stop a great album from being great. The reference points here are a (much) more muscular Yo La Tengo, a less high-pitched Buzzcocks and the Replacements — all meant as compliments, obviously. This is just to give you an idea, not to accuse Veronica (led by Ted Thacker of Baldo Rex) of being derivative. Penultimate track "Hurley Wax" is visceral-reaction awesome: a heart rate- and neck hair-raising, ass-kicking, punk-rock hoedown. The album is over before you can catch your breath; song lengths averaging two and a half minutes will do that. All the more reason to listen again: It gets better the second time. That's when you notice the little lyrical absurdities, the asides, the seamless momentum of the thing and, most of all, how incredibly well written these songs are.


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