Oxford Collapse Bits

I’m hoping classing Bits as "music for the erudite frat boy” doesn’t come off as an overly backhanded compliment to Oxford Collapse, because it’s meant in a good way. The Brooklyn trio excel at drawing inspiration from early ’90s American college rock to make scorching fist-pumpers that teeter on the verge of falling apart, kept together only by their considerable momentum. That’s certainly the case on album opener "Electric Arc,” whose reedy opening is blown asunder by a ferocious barrage from the rhythm section and J. Mascis-style bluster. While Bits thankfully showcases more of this fare, the band also try to pace themselves with some more subdued numbers. Some of these work — "Featherbeds” is a sly nod to Pavement — and others don’t, like the precious "A Wedding.” At the risk of being labelled a "bro,” I’ll say Oxford Collapse could have used more of their huge college rock choruses, easing off the throttle a trifle too much on Bits. Pabst, anyone? (Sub Pop)