The Flairs Shut Up and Drive

The Flairs’ full-length follow up to 2004’s self-titled EP has this four-piece returning with a mature, polished sound that is impossible to miss. Formed by ex-Tuuli members Dawn Mandarino and Jen Foster, along with Gillian and Ryan Hanna, the Flairs aim to combine a powerhouse sound inspired by trash rock and power punk. Where the band’s debut EP still seemed to hold onto bits and pieces of Tuuli’s syrupy sweetness, Shut Up and Drive sees the Flairs truly embrace a new level all their own. Although the cover of Skid Row’s "18 & Life” appeared on the EP, it makes a comeback on this release and this time around falls perfectly in line with the rest of the material, like the spiralling "Destroyer” and "Drive By.” Mandarino’s vocals still pour honey over every frayed chord and frenzied drum beat, and the non-stop bounce behind every song maintains irresistible pop punk hooks that are coated with a sleek new confidence. (Pacific)