Exactly what you'd expect

Think you've heard something like this before? Squirtgun's Flav Giorgini combines with John Bonnar and Alex Keane to rip through 14 peppy pop punk anthems in a brisk 33:33. So, yeah. There was a time when Lookout had a couple of these albums coming out every week (or so it seemed).

The Phase Problem
The Power of Positive Thinking
(Lavasocks Records-Brassneck Records)

And yes, there's plenty here reminiscent of Squirtgun, the Queers, Screeching Weasel, just about every Mass Giorgini (yes, brother of Flav)-produced album and (to take things old-school) the Ramones. The key to this is to get in, set the hook and get out. Songs like this are much better when they escape before they can be captured by thought.

That's no dig, either. That's the difference between songs that sound great with the top down and stuff that is much better bruising in close quarters. This album is the one you put on when you want to fly for half an hour and go, "Wait, it's already over?"

Unrelenting pep, chunky riffage and some of the finest earworms I've heard in a while. The Phase Problem cycles nicely through 90s pop punk styles without repeating itself. Original? Nah. Utterly infectious? You bet. Summer arrived early this year.

Jon Worley

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