Broke by Monday 

Broke by Monday (

Broke by Monday's impressive self-titled debut contains a healthy mix of reggae, jangly guitar pieces, power ballads, and straight-up rock tunes. The band even tops the whole thing off with a fast-paced, punk-like finale for good measure. The vocals often carry the tracks, sounding like James Hetfield might if he were a talented singer and willing to try new things.

The musicians are adept at all the styles they work in, and the high-energy music would make them a perfect opener for just about any modern festival-circuit college band (e.g., Dave Matthews, O.A.R.) or the backdrop for a summer barbecue. Recorded at one of Ohio's better studios, the Neon Cactus, the disc sounds crisp, with each sonic element mixed perfectly. Broke by Monday's solid musicianship and good-time atmosphere will keep the party hopping after the kegs run dry.

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