Unfortunately, many potential fans will breeze past the unpromising band name, generic album title and genuinely lame cover art of Guards of Metropolis' debut album. That's a shame for both band and listener, because Alligator is a crisp, intelligent, mainstream alt pop album, probably the best in that genre since Persephone's Bees' Notes from the Underworld. The most obvious point of comparison for this Portland, OR-based quartet is Garbage, who work from a similar starting point halfway between Nirvana and Blondie, although Norwegian-born lead vocalist Kristen Blix is arguably a less expressive singer than Shirley Manson. On the other hand, the Guards of Metropolis definitely have a better than average handle on the delicate balance between sweet pop hooks and sonic aggression, leaning far more towards the former than the latter. Although the sneering kiss-off "Exhole" and the Liz Phair-meets-Kelly Clarkson "Down" feature the album's strongest choruses, just about every track on Alligator sounds ready for the airwaves. There is no reason why this album couldn't be huge -- other than the ones mentioned above in the first sentence. Still, this is at least going to end up one of 2007's most deserving unheard treasures.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason