BEAR TRADE: Self-titled: LP

Pop punk band that unabashedly wears their influences on their leather(face) sleeve. Knee-jerk reaction was to pooh-pooh ‘em for bein’ so on-the-nose, but as it rolled through I found myself realizing, derivative or not, they are in possession of some goddamned good songs, which they wield with deadly precision. Jimmy’s black stone heart melted by “Sexy Beast’s” smooth-as-buttah backing vocals, and two thumbs are currently being hoisted high. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dead Broke)