Dipsomaniacs

Smaller Than Life

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The first album (barring a self-released demo) by New Jersey bar band the Dipsomaniacs is a cheerfully raucous power pop bash in the tradition of mid-period Replacements albums. Like Paul Westerberg, singer/guitarist Mick Chorba is an unpretentious lyricist with a knack for slice of life scenes like the mildly alienated opener "New Rochelle," and the standard two-guitar/bass/drums quartet plays with the proper ragged-but-right spirit. There's nothing on Smaller Than Life that will change the world in any way, but songs like the ultra-catchy, nearly Beatlesque "This One" and the wistful "Wanna Leave, Don't Wanna Go," which recalls '70s power pop stalwarts like Artful Dodger, have plenty of low-key charms.

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