Favorite

The Velvematics 

Dialectic Materialism (www.thevelvematics.com)

Always up for a good time, this Akron quartet rocks like a latter-day Cheap Trick. Their rugged, hook-heavy riffs mine the rumble of garage (on the Jet-biting "Be My Girl"), raid the rock-and-roll storehouse of Chuck Berry rave-ups ("Take a Chance"), and plug in the power-pop jangle ("She's the One"). Singer-guitarist Jonnie Vincenzo's sneering delivery provides the proper amount of attitude for these about-a-girl songs, while bassist Russell Bombik and drummer Chris Gibbs' backing vocals energize the catchy choruses. It's a nice balance of bar-band crackle and catchy songwriting.

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