Gross Magic Teen Jamz

This debut EP from Brighton, UK-based one-man glam band Gross Magic was originally released back in August via English indie label the Sounds of Sweet Nothing. Picked up in North America by Fat Possum, Teen Jamz falls in line perfectly with the label's evolution from a blues rock sanctuary to a hotbed for buzz bands, especially alongside Smith Westerns and Wavves (now gone from the label), who share a common interest in noisy guitars and sugary hooks. Led by 20-year-old Sam McGarrigle, who wrote the EP as a tribute to his teenage years, the four-piece sound like they raided both their parents and older siblings' record cabinets: greatest hits collections by ELO and T-Rex, and seminal records from both the grunge and Britpop eras, to be precise. And McGarrigle is pretty brazen about it, beginning "We're Awake Tonight" with pick pocketed drums from "Mr. Blue Sky" that ignite the bouncing piano and synthetic guitars like a firecracker. The title track is also all over the place, mashing up '50s pop melodies, glam riffs and a watery, filtered chorus that could out-weird even Ween. On the flipside, "Dream Gurl" is an epic ballad, on par with the first half of Styx's "Come Sail Away." Teen Jamz is transparently lo-fi and derivative, but even dressed in shabby rags, McGarrigle's addictive anthems are extremely easy on the ear. (Fat Possum)