Various Artists

Happy Meals, Vol.3: Songs to Run Away From

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Vol. 3 of My Records' Happy Meals series offers more variety than its predecessors, which dwelled happily on California-style pop-punk revivalism. There's still plenty of that, of course -- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes run manically through "The Times They Are A-Changin'," and Nerf Herder plies its usual mix of by-the-numbers punk pep and sardonic lyrics in "Jacket." But there's also some alt.country heartbreak in the form of Drag the River's "Lost Weekend." Sure, the band's made up of vets from the California punk scene. But that doesn't mean you won't shed a tear in your beer. There's also gritty psychobilly from Blazing Haley, Scott Garth's tasteful heart-on-sleeve folk, and sweet, Replacements-ish pop from Chad Rex. Fans of fast 'n' loud pop-punk might be thrown for a loop here, but with some patience they'll find a lot of promise on Happy Meals, Vol. 3.

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