DYING ELK HERD, THE: For Real This Time: CD

Passable power pop with some lengthy, well-crafted lyrics. The problem rests mostly in how the saccharine vocals are so up front in the mix, and the guitars are just a little too clean; it just seems to rob the band of any power they may otherwise have had. It’s just all so cute. And while many of the lyrics do tackle overconsumption, dissatisfaction, and restlessness with some clarity, “Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You” has to be one of the corniest songs I’ve ever heard. Maybe the Groovie Ghoulies or the Fiendz are a good starting point here, but, ultimately, these guys are just way too cute-sounding and lacking in venom to really make any kind of lasting impact. 

 –keith (Dying Elk Herd)