La Rocca The Truth

For an Irish band based in Los Angeles fronted by a guy named Bjorn, La Rocca’s sound belies their diverse origins. Their debut is a pretty straightforward amalgam of guitar pop through the decades. Produced by Tony Hoffer, who has overseen efforts by the likes of Supergrass and Beck, he ably amplifies La Rocca’s lively exuberance with lush production. The Truth is actually remarkably similar to another one of Hoffer’s past projects — So Much for the City by fellow Dubliners the Thrills. Much like the Thrills’ debut, The Truth benefits from a clean, polished sound, and pulls together power pop, boozy twang and Byrds-ian jangle. La Rocca, though, probably wear their hearts on their sleeves a little more readily and have fewer pretensions, even if they aren’t quite as adept at subtlety as the Thrills were. La Rocca aren’t trying to write anything more than good, simple pop songs. Viewed in this context, The Truth isn’t a bad album — attempts to deny the sticky hooks of "This Life” or "If You Need the Morning” will likely be rendered unsuccessful. There are precious few innovations, though, and The Truth isn’t really about clever wordplay or poignant observations. As on many debuts, there are a couple of throwaway tracks — "Sing Song Sung” and "Goodnight” bog down the proceedings in particular. Still, if carefree salt-of-the-earth rock is your bag, The Truth is worth at least a cursory listen. (Arisen)