Noise Addict

Meet the Real You

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Noise Addict's first studio LP, Meet the Real You, typifies the teen quartet's light blend of easily digested, guitar-driven pop and thoughtfully crafted lyrics. Unlike earlier releases, this time the band plugs in, delivering 14 tracks that sound slicker, harder, and tighter than EPs like Young and Jaded -- potentially ostracizing fans of the group's former lo-fi, acoustic sound. Moreover, while Noise Addict has no doubt matured -- most easily heard in singer Ben Lee's dramatically deeper voice, as well as in their increasingly sophisticated lyrics and song structures -- at the same time they seem to have lost a bit of the earnestness and vitality that once gave them their charm. Songs about genocidal animal poisoning just don't have the same zing anymore. However, ignoring the overwrought caterwaul of "Poison 1080" and Lee's losing battle with affectation on "The Frail Girl" and "16," the album does entertain as the musings of a star/love-struck teenager. The hypercharged "Body Scabs and Bizzos" and the acerbic "Exorcism Babe" certainly satisfy, yet Noise Addict is at their best on simple, punky bursts like "Jerk," "Brinsley," and the lyrically clever "Blemish." They may be light fare, but on these songs, Noise Addict still exudes more intelligence and excitement than many bands a decade or two older, with the results proving to be innocent bliss.

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