Returning four years after their last full-length, Philadelphia's Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer picks up exactly where 2003's Jalopy Go Far left off. In the intervening years, the band's blend of new wavey synths and spunky pop-punk tunes has largely fallen out of fashion, and conceptually similar bands like Damone and the Epoxies have either changed their sound, broken up, or both, but just because something's no longer the flavor of the month doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't taste good anymore. Singer/bassist Rachel Minton has exactly the right voice for this kind of juvenile-in-the-best-way material, delivering chorus hooks like "Let's hold hands and listen to sh*tty bands/Tossing records out the window" (from the album high point "Death or Radio") with exactly the right blend of brattiness and flirtiness. The band even shows hints of maturity on slower, more overtly poppy tunes like "This Briskness (Java)," which sounds quite a bit like underrated '90s power poppers Letters to Cleo. An enjoyable album full of smart, funny, exceedingly catchy tunes, Schematics reminds listeners how fun this genre was before it got so overexposed.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason