Milk It for All It's Worth

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Los Angeles power poppers Smash -- not the completely unrelated U.K. punk-pop band S*M*A*S*H, with whom they're often confused -- have their '60s tropes down pat on their 1995 debut Milk It for All It's Worth. Singer/songwriter Tony Valenziano variously channels the Monkees, the Cowsills, the Byrds, and the Kinks on peppy little tunes like "Daydream Girl" and "I Don't Think I Love You Anymore." The results are solidly entertaining guitar-based power pop with all the harmonies, hooky 12-string guitar riffs, and handclaps that label suggests. The one problem, and unfortunately, it keeps Milk It for All It's Worth from achieving its full potential, is that Valenziano takes the album's title all too literally. Only one song, the Chad & Jeremy-like "Won't Ya?," makes it under the four-minute mark. In the '60s, songs tended to be around two and a half minutes for a reason: They knew that sugar tastes best in small doses. If a good minute or two was chopped out of each of these songs, they would be perfect, but as it stands, Milk It for All It's Worth is like overdosing on gumballs.

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