DIRECT HIT!: Wasted Mind: LP/CD

When I see the name Direct Hit!, the first thing that comes to mind is a generic sounding pop punk band. However, when I listen to the band I always realize that it is far from being a one-dimensional outfit. Yes, its brand of punk is primarily pop fuelled, but there are grandiose moments which could easily be from bands like Titus Andronicus or even, at times, Fucked Up. That approach works because it never feels as if anything is being overdone or that it’s contrived. It just comes across as well-crafted songs which can, and do, take a number of different paths. The album’s title and the fact that most of the songs have some reference to drugs, highlights that this is a concept album; but all I care about is if it sounds good, and it definitely does. –Rich Cocksedge (Fat Wreck, [email protected], fatwreck.com)