Wolf Colonel

Vikings of Mint

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With a band name like Wolf Colonel and short, spiky pop songs with equally nonsensical titles like "Mister Easter Aeroplane," "These Aquatic Droids," and "Uncle of France" -- 15 of them in less than a half hour, all told -- it's pretty clear that singer/guitarist Jason Anderson learned his indie rock life lessons at the altar of Guided by Voices. Fortunately, Vikings of Mint is a damn sight better than the last few GBV records; what Anderson's songs lack in originality they make up for in sheer panache, combining tersely infectious melodies, woozy harmonies, and careening guitars to create breathlessly energetic fuzz pop worth a listen for its enthusiasm alone. Sure, Vikings of Mint wears its influences on its sleeve -- Superchunk, the Replacements, and Buffalo Tom figure prominently as well -- but in its own hand-me-down way, it's the kind of indie rock record they just don't make anymore.

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