DARBS, THE: Self-titled: LP

Though my personal preference has long veered toward dual guitars, I’ve long had a soft spot for trios. Some of the best rock’n’roll racket—The Crickets, Plugz, and Hüsker Dü, for starters—was made by three-piece outfits, and despite my aforementioned preference, I’ve been in three trios over the decades. This Wisconsin threesome kick up dust in fine fashion here, melding street pop and punk into finely crafted songs. They keep things simple and direct, yet maintaining a sense of balance between melody and muscle, never leaning too heavily in either direction. –Jimmy Alvarado (The Darbs, facebook.com/sheboygandarbs)