Unrepentantly 90s in its feel and outlook, Earwig blisters its way through raggedy pop-punk-roots-rock-whatever. Playing liberally with both reverb and distortion, the squalls and squeals are tremendous. The raucously disjointed hooks are just as glorious.

Pause for the Jets
(Lizard Family Music)
As Earwig has been rumbling around the Columbus area for some 20-plus years, perhaps the 90s aren't so surprising. And experience can also be a fine aid to musical creation. As long as you keep the youthful energy going strong.

No problems there. Really, no problems at all. One great song rumbles past just as the last one finishes. There's no letup here. So that by the time the "duet" with Lydia Loveless ("Wasted on You") wanders by, it's much less striking than might be imagined.

More than anything else, this carries on the Husker Du-Mats-Soul Asylum Minneapolis tradition, even if Earwig actually resides a few hundred miles southeast of there. The modest 90s shine is a nice "update," if you want to call it that. I'm not so worried about the words. The music speaks for itself. Earwig takes me back, even as it races forward at breakneck speed.

Jon Worley

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