The Librarians 

The Pathetic Aesthetic

Don't be fooled by the British affectation, the power-pop wha-uh-ohs, and the right-on rock they're rolling; the Librarians aren't from the other side of the pond, nor even the other side of the bay. But these East Bay lads bang out lean and mean pop hooks like they used to play back when Elvis Costello was an angry young man. They don't make 'em like that anymore. (Actually they do, because everything old is new again, and kids today have no sense of history and listen to that damn jungle music and why don't they pull up their pants and get off my lawn! Ahem.) It's just the right mixture of flash and flesh, just rough enough to rock but ridden with time-tested hooks and cocky Anglicisms. It's a little like biting down on a peppermint with a mouth full of whisky, but that's not a bad thing. The best tracks -- the faux-curmudgeonly "Peace & Quiet," f'rinstance, or "Rockstar" -- are impishly, irresistibly catchy. When they sing, "Why do you dress like a rock star, when you can't even play the guitar," it's with more than a little wink, because they sound like they're playing at being rock stars just then, and playing the part pretty well.

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