ALBERT SQUARE, THE / HARD GIRLS: Split: CD

Upon first putting this CD into the stereo, I was struck by how much the Albert Square’s vocalist reminded me of… somebody. I couldn’t place it, and this bothered me. I kept listening, hoping I’d figure it out. I probably paid more attention to this than anything else I was supposed to be reviewing this go-round. It finally dawned on me. In his inflection, his timing, and in a lot of ways, his voice, he’s a dead ringer for Dan Adriano on that Tuesday record. (Maybe without the lisp, which I still swear is contrived.) This isn’t a bad thing; I liked that record. The Albert Square write pretty catchy little songs to accompany their singer’s Adriano-like vocals. They aren’t anything special, but it’s not bad either. Certainly worth a listen. The Hard Girls play gruff-voiced punk that’s all over the map stylistically. It’s not bad either. But it certainly didn’t send me on a weeks-long search to figure out who the vocalist sounded like.

 –Ryan Horky (Silver Sprocket, www.silversprocket.net)