Los Abandoned Mix Tape

Los Angeles punk rockers Los Abandoned put a lot of effort into making themselves sound interesting. Boasting an aesthetic that "reunites” the Casio with gritty electric guitars (was there even a separation period?) and dresses it up in traditional Latin music sensibilities, the press material for this Spanish-English bilingual act promises a cross-cultural post-punk attack that is unafraid to tackle the hot-button issues of the day. What one gets upon pressing play, however, is merely yet another offering of slick, unambitious, high-school pop that hammers out tired tunes about secret crushes, shopping and other mall punk warhorses that even the most vapid of teenage girls must be getting bored of by now. Bright, hand-clapping schoolyard anthems like "Van Nuys” and "Panico” are well executed and harmless enough, and singer Lady P. shows off her diva pipes on the self-explanatory lead track, "Stalk U,” alternately channelling the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O and Andrea Wasse of the Weekend over a chunky four-chord guitar attack. If you ignore the lyrics, there’s no doubt of Lady P.’s technical talents. But aside from the fact that half her lyrics are in Spanish, there’s really not a lot that’s new here. (Vapor)