Silver Scooter

The Other Palm Springs (Peek-a-boo)

It's possible there's no greater proving gound for pop music than the car stereo. If a CD can stay in the deck and keep you singing and moving for a long haul, then it's truly a work of art. In that sense, Silver Scooter are artists worthy of the highest praise. Along lines set by East Coast bands like the Feelies, the frantically happy drum beats drive every song, guitars bouncing along in the passenger seat. The lyrics are clever in rhyme pattern and logic without being overwrought; wit never gives way to pretense, and turns of phrases and unexpected lines like "You can't feed a good man paste" are delivered in the appropriate deadpan. Even though Scott Garred's nasal whine in "Clarkston, WA" approaches the intolerable - damn near something to shield your ears against - it fits perfectly for the rest of the album. The Other Palm Springs peaks in "Long Fence," an instrumental that's nothing short of brilliant. It refrains and builds on itself in rolling circularity, peppered with a series of simple hooks that could propel you and your car to Bangor and back with gas to spare.

4 Stars -- Christopher Hess

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