Al Church And State

"By about the one-minute mark of Al Church And State’s debut album—right when the group’s adenoidal harmonies kick in atop some arena-ready crunchy riffage—it’s pretty clear that Al Church is one big Weezer fan (so much so, he apparently used to front a tribute band to the group). Thankfully, Church’s Rivers Cuomo fixation extends only to the band’s formative adolescent-angst-anthem and sweater-destroying era—no Raditude-styled b.s. here—and doesn’t dominate the entire album. More than mere power-pop geeks, Church and his highly capable band, which includes former Aneuretical frontman Matthew Sandstedt, also make convincing stabs at shimmering balladry (“She’s Okay”), and sinewy Spoon-styled post-punk (“Stick Up”) and keep the music briskly moving throughout the album. If only Weezer itself showed this much range." // Grade: A- // by Rob Van Alstyne // Onion A.V. Club

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