Ross & the Wrongens

Life in the Loos

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Though you might anticipate silly music, given the cheeky (sorry) "life's in the toilet" title of this Gravesend, Kent English band's four-song debut EP and its rep for being live cutups -- and having all five members last-named "Wrongen" -- like the Dickies and Damned before them (only preferring bright 'n' bouncy '60s-esque pop to punk), behind the clowning is a serious pop group. In particular, the highlight "That Magic Feeling" sounds like early (good) Soul Asylum or the Magnolias rocking out a breezy, the Records-like oldie, while "Summer Sun" benefits from a little Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon"/Left Banke's "Bryant Hotel"/Turtles' "Eleanor" cadence, set off by a Madness-to-Supergrass piano and good-looking Ross Wrongen's effective moan-sing yearning. Even "Through with You (Ballad of an Alcoholic)" is like a C&W-esque tale of quitting -- the girl, drinking heavily, or both.