FRANTIC HEART OF IT, THE: Self-titled: CD

There was a short-lived East Bay pop punk band from the early oughts, Fenway Park, that played some deliciously syrupy power pop that borrowed quite liberally from Elvis Costello And The Attractions, but added some strings and schmaltz to the equation. These three Pittsburgh dudes expand upon what FenwayPark started, adding even more intricate and floral orchestration. Heartfelt power pop and pop punk songs here benefit from addition of keys, glockenspiel, accordion, and cello. Some tracks are guitar-heavy pop punk, reminiscent of the Methadones; others recall the pub rock that preceded Elvis Costello. Later Faces albums come to mind. And in the more tender moments, there are bits of Cat Stevens. When I was thirteen I would have kicked myself in the dick for saying that and considering it a complement, but times have changed. There’s also a bonus track cover of Jawbreaker’s “Ache” that probably could have been left off, but that’s a minor grievance. Overall, this is a very lovely, lovingly crafted album. However, I am a bit curious as to how they pull the lush sound off live between just the three of them!

 –Jeff Proctor (Atomic Family)