Various Artists

Happy Meals, Vol. 2: The Perfect Marriage

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How can you deny a compilation that kick-starts with a throaty, revved-up revision of Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl"? Naturally, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is responsible for this giddy mayhem; the fun continues through Happy Meals, Vol. 2's duration. Fans of My Records or the first Happy Meals comp know what to expect here -- peppy California-style pop-punk in the grand cheeky tradition of NOFX. Speaking of NOFX, they actually close out the festivities with "Lazy Train." Nerf Herder is here with the heavy metal heartbreak of "Hospital"; later, Ten Speed Summer covers the Nerf classic "Pantera Fans in Love." My Records signees Lag Wagon contribute "Messengers," and there's solid, raggedy power pop from Keith Brown ("Suicide") and Saltine ("I Owe You"). Tracks from Skycycle and Silver Jet sound a bit formulaic here, if only because their earnest Cali modern rock can't match the humor and goofy abandon displayed by the rest of these guys. But they don't slow down Happy Meals' boisterous beat one bit. Best might be Armchair Martian's "Armslength," which sounds like Hüsker Dü covering early Uncle Tupelo. Recommended for your next backyard beer shower.

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