Squirrel Nut Zippers Bedlam Ballroom

Trends will come and go, but the good bands remain standing. After they scored a fluke pop hit on the wave of the swing thing, Chapel Hill's Squirrel Nut Zippers fizzled with a rushed follow-up low on good songs. That changes on Bedlam Ballroom, which combines their impeccable chops with zippy tunes, like the frenetic ragtime of the title track and "Do It This A Way." They've abandoned their adherence to '30s recording techniques, and though a bit of the charm is lost, thankfully these Zippers ain't slick. New keyboaridst Reese Gray makes a big difference to the band's sound, as do the rumbas and Katharine Whalen's less-cutesy vocals. Fair-weather fans shouldn't miss out. (Universal)