Office A Night At The Ritz

Signed to Scratchie Records, the label belonging to James Iha, Chicago band Office are probably not what you’d expect. But then again, it’s nice to see that at least one member of the Smashing Pumpkins is capable of making a good judgement call after this year’s stumble of a reunion. A Night At The Ritz, the band’s third album, has more in common with Jellyfish and OK Go than anything grungy, and on that level at least it succeeds. When it comes to catchy power pop anthems there are some damned good ones here, with "If You Don’t Know By Now” and "Oh My” being prime examples. Yet just like their androgynous name, the band’s music has a tendency to so derivative that it’s more likely to make you think of another band they sound like instead. And that’s likely to lead to an identity crisis that not even the really good songs can overcome. (New Line)