Cleveland's Herzog tumbles out of the barrel with their third album for Exit Stencil, a fizzing, shambling cracker jack prize of a pop album that rolls the slackened nature of 90's heroes like Weezer, Ash and Fountains of Wayne through a heavy dose of aughts pop hangover. Though the majority of the subject matter centers on the futility and struggles of middle tier stardom in the music industry, the band's cheeky pathos more than ably crosses over to a generation stuck with unfulfilled dreams and short sheeted promises, all the while pumping up the kicks to the ribs into fist shaking anthems. With a growl of guitars and the kind of squiggly nerd-rock keys that draw a line from The Cars to Apples in Stereo the band knows how to blow up a pop hook into basement party fury and with the help of producer Kevin S. McMahon (The Walkmen, Titus Andronicus) they've churned those angst-baiters into bouncy hits that beg to be cranked from the car windows all summer long.
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