French Exit: A suburb of Los Angeles, Illinois, called Weezernirvana. This can be way dangerous territory. One slip and it’s land and your review is placed adjacent to a Chevy ad after a positive review of a Victory 2012 sampler. Next step: constipated band photos, questionable neck tattoos, gel, guyliner. However, since I know these dudes and they understand dangling carrots always come with a stick, I’ll “woo, ooo, ooo” along. Undeniably hooky, tight, and laser-focused. Think early Alkaline Trio, swapping out spooky lyrics with suburban sprawl and first dates that didn’t go so well. Good stuff. Signals Midwest: Pleasant, hummy, punk pop that owes small debts to Hot Water Music, Smoking Popes, and other bands that weren’t afraid to dent, kick, and counter-attack the conventions of already-ossifying genre constraints.

 –todd (On The Real, / Solidarity,