From the Falls to the Path (Rust Records)

On its second LP, Blush reintroduces itself as a hard-edged alt-rock band. Singer Mary Cushman is backed by bassist Jayson Benn and three of her brothers, but nepotism hasn't hurt the Canton quintet. The guys can really play. And Cushman can really sing. In her playful moments, her six-octave range settles into a pixie warble that recalls Juliana Hatfield.

But the breezy moments are scarce on From the Falls to the Path. In swelling songs like "Trigger," Mary picks a feeling -- usually sad, betrayed, or lonely -- and whispers about it until a rain of guitar lines lets loose and a loud, layered, melodic chorus arrives. Taking its cues from guitarist Andrew Cushman, Blush stubbornly sticks to the same dynamic in tune after tune. Good thing for them that practice brings them closer to perfection.