Alien Crime Syndicate

Ten Songs in the Key of Betrayal

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Produced by iconic boardsman Gil Norton, Ten Songs in the Key of Betrayal is a kickass rock & roll record in the vein of classics by the likes of the Replacements, Weezer and Urge Overkill. Riffs rip, snares crack and hooks pull the unsuspecting in via tracks like "Forever Is Rock N' Roll" -- a malt liquor-drenched homage to living life to its fullest -- and "The Hustla Life." But the West Coast quartet's thump and bump charge should come as little surprise to fans of the long-lost punk-pop troupe the Meices, who already know what a three-chord visionary like Joe Reineke can do. At their worst, Alien Crime Syndicate is a top-notch, disposable pop band -- as the Fountains of Wayne-like "Back Together" attests -- but when they hit their marks, as they do on the sugary romp "The American Way" (which extols the virtues of "chicks with juicy lips" in the U.S.A.), ACS is as immediate as it is fun. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]

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