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Lolas -- Something You Oughta Know (Jam): The first time I popped this on, I thought to myself, ‘wow, Tim Boykin has gone all political on us!' Then I realized that what I thought was "we're going down to the poorhouse" was actually the song "We're Going Down to the Boathouse". No wonder he sounded so cheerful. Of course, cheerful is pretty much Boykin's default mode. On the third Lolas disc, he makes most power pop bands sound like Bauhaus in comparison, as his music is so swathed in a sunshiney vibe. As always, the Lolas music sounds like they heard The Descendents cover of "Wendy" and thought that if they could make tunes that managed to be a bit more in the vein of The Beach Boys and a bit more power pop than punk pop, they'd be onto something. On this disc, there aren't as many loud guitars, and there's a wee bit more attention paid to harmonies and arrangements (not that they've skimped before, mind you). The end result is adult bubblegum music, as evidenced by numbers like "Dana the Chromium Girl" and "Plenty of Dogs" (as in, I've got plenty of dogs, meaning he doesn't need to buy him a dog because he needs a friend). Or "Little Deedra", which has is a modern glam rock stomp (a la Slade or Gary Glitter), with a muscular guitar solo and a twee and fun chorus. This is catchy times three. On "Master Cat", the Lolas reach a rarified area of brilliance, melding Standells organ fueled garage rock verses with a Burt Bacharach worthy bridge, pulling them together (with the garage rock dominating) in the chorus. This is novel without being a novelty. One thing I like a lot is the utter lack of self-consciousness here. The sweet as a Krispy Kreme "Light Up Every Doorway" is sung and played with utter commitment. Though it's feather light, the melodies still have an emotional pull, making this delicious and nutritious. The Lolas are now three-for-three, with another strong album.

Mike Bennett,