Sure, Rich can wail -- check out "Fubar," a hard-charging knuckle-duster that shoots sparks like a Roman candle. But throughout Foundation, he seems out to prove himself as a songwriter more than an axeslinger. Three of the seven cuts feature vocals, to varying degrees of effectiveness. "Spring Break," a touching tribute to Rich's late grandmother, is a highlight, with singer Cary Matthews nicely complementing Rich's intricate strumming. Elsewhere, laughably lame lyrics turn songs like "Generation Next" into soundtrack fodder for a bad after-school special. "Hanging out at the mall, drinking alcohol," Jared Levengood moans, "Got a gun above your bed upon that shelf/Smoking pot, having sex, acid trips/These kids are just 10 and 12." With lyrics like these, Jared can't be much older. Still, despite such missteps, and a goofy album-ending percussion jam, this is indeed a solid Foundation upon which to build a career.
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