One of smarter acts to emerge over the past few years, this St. Louis quintet is led by singer-guitarist Andrew Volpe, whose humorous, off-beat perspective fuels a dweebish power pop panache recalling Weezer and They Might Be Giants. Volpe's wit guides the band through pop culture-addled paeans from the jangly "Ode to Kevin Arnold" and lovelorn "Good Will Hunting by Myself" to the E.T.-checking "Saturday Night Thunderbolt," which begins when "some sasquatch, wookie boner spilled his Mad Dog down my shirt." They followed their terrific 2004 eponymous debut with a concept EP entitled Broken Bride, in which a man travels back in time to prevent his fiance's death. February's middling major label debut, Youre Awful, I Love You, features some of the same clever, perky arrangements, including the masochistic single, "Love Me Dead," the manic apartment stalker anthem "Go Getter Greg" and "Lake Pontchartrain," which bounds like a dark cousin to TMBGs "Constantinople."
Fri., Sept. 5, 9 p.m., 2008