BLAME IT ON WHITMAN: Everything Is Fine..: CD

Whoa, this band somehow balances a beautiful mix of late-’90s emo, indie, scrappy pop punk, and math rock into one little package. I’m hearing a lot of Small Brown Bike influences here. Then with the track “Stranger Things” they completely switch gears and adopt a ’50s rock’n’roll style with a doo wop influence. The tempo is way slower than the other songs, but they still incorporate a heavy, gritty guitar solo in the bridge that helps ground the track within the rest of the album. The very next song calls to mind The Muffs’ “Kids in America” mostly in the melody and cadence of it. But then all of a sudden there is a ska song out of nowhere! I’m suddenly feeling like this was a mix tape a friend or potential partner made me in high school. In the chorus of “Darla,” they’re singing the song Alfalfa serenades Darla with from the movie Little Rascals. Personally, I wish more of the songs were the mathy emo they started with at the top, but I’m honestly impressed with how many different genres they are nailing. There’s a whole lot going on here, but all of it is really dang good. –Kayla Greet (Big Pizza)