Koko Beware Something About the Summer

With its hazy, Instagram-style cover photo and a title quite literally ripped from a Best Coast song ("Summer Mood," from Crazy for You), Koko Beware's debut album feels about two years too late. The band formed in late 2010 and their aesthetic sensibilities haven't evolved at all since, as these 12 songs rely on a played-out formula of lo-fi recording grit, swampy reverb and references to the beach. This is a shame, since the album's songs are pleasant enough. "Feed Me" is a peppy pop number that sounds a bit like the Ramones re-imagined as surf rock, while "Beach Babe" features some wonderfully dreamy guitar arpeggios that are unfortunately marred by formulaic lyrics. Something About the Summer shows glimmers of potential, but for the most part, you can judge this one by its cover. (Independent)