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Canadian skate punks Twenty2 have never broken through to the mall-punk mainstream, despite having been around considerably longer than their countrymen Sum 41 and Simple Plan. The quartet's sixth full-length album (there are at least as many EPs floating around), Defective shows why Twenty2 will, for better or worse, never be high on the rotation inside Hot Topic stores. These 13 songs make only the barest of flirtations with the commercially acceptable end of pop-punk, mostly through Jonh Genier's smooth and emo-riffic vocals. Aside from that element, Twenty2 are a meat-and-potatoes punk band with a strong hardcore influence, especially in the way Frank Chartrand's guitar and Sebastien Cousineau's bass lock into unison riff patterns and stay there for the length of a song. Though the overall effect is closer to the Descendents than Black Flag (on the more tuneful and song-oriented side of hardcore, that is), Defective is pretty much a straight-up hardcore record, and a pretty good one at that. Only "Angelina," a tongue in cheek love song likely directed at the fetching Angelina Jolie, sounds likely to make it onto the MTV2 playlist, though minute-long blasts of blast-beat fury like "Bad Influence" and "I Don't Care Anymore" are more satisfying.

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