Backyard Babies Tinnitus

After close to 16 years of playing music together, Sweden’s Backyard Babies’ latest offering gets off to a less than admirable start. "Brand New Hate” opens the disc with mediocre pop metal leanings that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of Saved by the Bell, where the squeaky-clean kids ditch school and run amok. "U.F.O. Romeo” and "The Clash” straighten the course somewhat, offering sharper-edged rock that listeners have come to expect from a band featuring former Hellacopters’ guitarist Dregen. Tinnitus is an uneven album, but it does have a number of strong moments where the band’s vigorous punk rock shines. The primary weakness of the disc, however, is that the Backyard Babies’ long held glam metal influences diminish the muscle of some of their material with tired rock structures. (Liquor and Poker)