RATIONAL ANTHEM: Emotionally Unavailable: LP

To me, it seems impossible to escape Rational Anthem’s name if you’re tapped into any kind of DIY punk community, but I haven’t followed them as closely as this record suggests I should have been. Eight tracks of irresistibly accessible pop punk that never stops bouncing off the walls from start to finish. It’s something like Dear Landlord or Lipstick Homicide, but scuffed up with some of that gangly, rough-and-tumble Plan-It-X-style scrappiness. Listen, if you’re trying to forcefully help your little cousin bridge the gap from saccharine corporate pop punk to Real Music, this record is the best possible next step for them to take. As for me, this will probably be in regular rotation once I get over the staggeringly awful artwork, which is of a terrifying scribble guy apparently getting shot down by a lady with Spongebob eyes. Nightmares.

 –Indiana Laub (Bloated Kat, [email protected], bloatedkat.storenvy.com)