C.D. Truth 

Chemically Dependent (cdtruth.com)

Finally, here's a punkish band that understands that "pop" doesn't have to mean "candy-assed." The Akron power trio C.D. Truth has been playing the regional circuit since 1989, but it hasn't been prolific: Its last disc was 1998's well-received Seedy LP. The band's new album, Chemically Dependent, boasts 13 tracks that arrive tightly rehearsed and produced.

From the album's first moment, CDT drops the hammer and never lets up, bashing out a pogo frenzy of Ramones-style buzz-saw chords, go-go beats, and a handful of hardcore sprints. Tongue firmly in cheek, singer-guitarist Jeff Hardy delivers lyrics that recall Cheap Trick, winning by keeping it simple, as in "Gee Whiz": "I think you're great/I think you're really cool/You're really nice/ And you go to school/Gee whiz/ When you're with me/Gee whiz/If the world could see." It's been a while since Weezer wrote anything this consistently engaging. As the song says, follow C.D. Truth to Akron -- or wherever you have to. They're worth a drive.

Speaking of Regional Beat

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