There's nothing especially original about Short Round, a Milpitas, CA-based trio fronted by Chinkees guitarist Jason Thinh. But then, originality is an overrated commodity in rock & roll. What matters more than innovation are tunefulness, energy, and concision, and Short Round has all of those in spades. Their debut album finds them working in a familiar punky/melodic rock vein, with occasional detours into ska ("Cleansing, Cut and Scrape") and Clash-y old-school punk rock ("Ill Frustrated"). Thinh is an endearingly average singer with a good pop sense and a charming disregard for phrasing; lines like, "I've done the damage/I didn't want to have any of it/Dripping phrases sarcastically like concrete on the ground" would be irritating coming from a singer with a better voice. Bassist Nate and drummer James prop him up with solid chops but don't get in his way. The result is a very promising debut from a young band who bears watching.
by Rick Anderson