Tan Sleeve Bad from Both Sides

As two-thirds of legendary underground power-pop band the Wind, Lane Steinberg and Steve Barry demonstrated their knack for a good tune. These days they are recording together as Tan Sleeve and their second album is their most satisfying yet. While not doing anything Fountains of Wayne haven’t done before, Tan Sleeve are making neat little power-pop songs that are both catchy and funny. Thankfully, Steinberg and Barry inject enough variety into Bad from Both Sides to stop it from relying too heavily on the Beatles-esque formula that they have a natural talent for — there are also moments musically reminiscent of the High Llamas, but with Everly-like harmonies. There’s a real playfulness to the lyrics, indicating that the band don’t take themselves too seriously and they manage to keep the wackiness under control with only a couple of songs falling into the novelty category, including a love song to CNBC financial advisor Maria Bartiromo. Bad from Both Sides is an unassuming little album that will win you over with its honest-to-goodness pop songs. While it might not be the best album you’ll hear this year, it is a long, long way from being the worst. (The Bus Stop)