Million Yen Blue Television Windows

This Chicago quartet blasts out of the blocks with "Chemical Drip,” a searing blast of tasty power pop. They call it heavy pop, and it is heavier than the usual power pop, yet it’s still melodic and hooky. Normally when pop bands try to dial up the heaviosity they end up in Blink-182/Green Day purgatory, done in by the self-conscious naughtiness and juvenilia, but these guys are more like the Posies mated with Hüsker Dü, which is strengthened even further when the vocals occasionally recall Jon Auer. You can also hear some Pixies, Smoking Popes and Foo Fighters in there. Their thick, fudge-y sound also makes me figure this is what Shoes would have sounded like if they’d eaten their Wheaties. Things slow down a tad and get a wee bit dreamy with "Velveteen,” and the cohesiveness and quality weaken just the tiniest bit towards the end, but its still one hell of a debut. (Veronica)