TIANANMEN SQUARES: Nothing Can Kill the Grimace: CD

Tiananmen Squares is one of the best band names I’ve encountered in a while. They’re from Omaha and have been around for about five years, wisely waiting till now to put out their first full-length. They play a very mainline form of punk that they themselves call the “epifat sound.” It would seem smug to refer to it that way as an outsider, but for the band to have that level of self-awareness is commendable. The lyrics are sociopolitical, the bass is higher in the mix than is customary for this subgenre, and the vocals are distinctive enough to set them apart from the hordes of other groups attempting the same style. All of the ingredients are here for breakout popularity, including way above-average songwriting. You’ll likely be hearing this group soon, so why not check them out on your own first? –Art Ettinger (Self-released, [email protected])