Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Living With the Living (Touch & Go)

Phases & Stages

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Living With the Living (Touch & Go)

Ted Leo doesn't wear his politics on his sleeve. He's got them tattooed across his forehead. It's little surprise, then, that for someone closer to 40 than 30, the onetime NYC hardcore punker is more concerned with being a voice of dissent than the soundtrack to a car commercial. In fact, Leo's fifth LP with his trio the Pharmacists, Living With the Living, echoes the SXSW 06 showcaser who cynically wished his audience a happy anniversary of the Iraq war. That Leo is plastered all over Living ("Army Bound," "CIA," the blistering "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb."), but the centerpiece "La Costa Brava," is a driving Wire-meets-early-Joe-Jackson rumination about recharging oneself. That's the great accomplishment here. Living With the Living might agitate the lefty already inside, but you don't have to like Leo's politics to move to the music. (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists head-butt La Zona Rosa, Saturday, April 7.)

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