Gainer

You Say It Like It's a Bad Thing

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Power pop is what you'll hear early and often from this Alabama-based group formerly known as The Angry Housewives. From "Always on Stage," lead singer Jason Barker takes a bit of Jimmy Eat World and fuses it with Goo Goo Dolls-like melodies. The suffocating arrangements thankfully break free due to some great drum fills during Fever Pitch," which has a basic guitar riff that gives the song more space. It also isn't the rapid-fire punk song most two-minute tracks tend to be. Gainer has ample chops to deliver each song with precision and near perfection, especially on the catchy hooks oozing from "More the Same Than Ever," which recalls blink-182's self-titled album. Otherwise, the band provides meaty, radio-friendly tracks that aren't incredible but certainly don't embarrass themselves. Lyrically, Elgin might be at his best during the mid-tempo rock of "No Help Needed." Perhaps the highlight is a tense and tightly wound "A Loss That Feels Like Winning," a number that slightly changes gears between verses. Only on the emo-centric "Ghostman on 2nd" does the group sound a bit stale. "Fairlee fares a tad better as the urgency returns to the music, wasting little time in riding the groove. "It's Already Been Brang!" is a play-by-numbers punk-pop ditty that has some fine guitar playing in certain spots, as does "Check, Please."

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