Something Fierce

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The new project of Rustic Overtones' main man Spencer Albee, Rocktopus, combines big power pop guitars with bizarrely childish lyrics for a sonically diverse yet immature effort to join the ranks of Ben Folds and Elvis Costello. Opener "Vacation" laments a child's desire for summertime fun without a hint of flux, while "Saturday Night," a strange fusion of Parliament funk and disco breaks not unlike those on the Sesame Street Fever album, moves along with insincere gang vocals and underpaced rhythms. The title track betrays Albee's ability to craft a great pop tune, à la Billy Joel, with his trademark gruff crooning, but this straightforward balladry is often compromised by his attempt to mimic anthemic stadium rock.

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