Trailer Park Pam

Trailer Park Pam

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Trailer Park Pam's Keith Megna sings with a frog-voiced surety that sounds a bit like Adam Duritz with his jaw wired shut, or maybe Todd Park Mohr caught singing along with modern rock on the car radio. The latter description is probably more apt, for sound-wise Megna's L.A.-based band fluctuates between articulated adult alternative pop and harder-edged guitar dynamics on its eponymous Interscope debut. "Buyer Beware (Vula)" and "Cop Song" represent the extreme end of their sonic spectrum, dominated as they are by chunky power chords, warbling, screeching solos, and distorted screaming from Megna. The band travels the opposite way with more grace -- "Out of the Sun" falls next to "Buyer Beware" in the program, but couldn't be more distant aesthetically. It showcases Megna's strange, swollen-tongue singing voice, and shares its earnestness and textured sound with Hot AC favorites Train. The song also reveals TPP to be a band that's more comfortable with understatement than overdoing it. Indeed, "Falling Stars" lists an honor roll of "all the dead rock singers," but does so over a loping, half-synthesized rhythm that could help it be this year's "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand." Trailer Park Pam should have more staying power than Primitive Radio Gods, if only because Megna's voice is such an oddly expressive instrument. Even he can't save the louder material, which flounders in a sea of effects and a perfunctory feel that reeks of label meddling. But the album's midtempo, melody-driven songs -- "Picture Me," "Blanket," "Tell Me" -- are given real weight by Megna's weirdly cool honk, and mark Trailer Park Pam as a promising debut.

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