Mercenaries The Last Resident in a Tourist Town

It's records like this one that just make me wonder if the great music god in the sky really intended humans to sing over music. Front-man and lone songwriter "Altogether" Steve Rutyna writes marvellous-sounding music that would have one thinking "Wilco? Blue Rodeo? Maybe Northern Pikes?" and Rutyna's three bandmates have the chops to do the tunes more than justice. Problem is, his lyrics are glib - what is up with the abused stepdaughter tome in "Brand New Dad"? - not to mention unintentionally comical. When the lyrics are intended to be funny, such as on "Feelin' Guilty" and the entendre-wielding "Big 4 Inch," they only elicit groans and quizzical looks from the listener. Don't even get me started on how, even if one manages to get past Rutyna's lyrical butcher job and wince-inducing attempts at "singing," the music is simply derivative - the catchy "Drivin' On E" had me wondering just four or five chords into the song how long it would take Paul Westerberg to sue the pants off these guys for ripping off his song "Waiting for Somebody." Fact is, to like anything about this album would require one to like the bands these guys crib from - if that's the case, why not just spin Yankee Hotel Foxtrot again. In fact, I think I will... (Spare Me)