Cruiserweight

The Smith Tower

Texas Platters

Cruiserweight

The Smith Tower

Having outlasted contemporaries Dynamite Boy, Recover, and Riddlin' Kids, it's only fitting that Cruiserweight goes out swinging with The Smith Tower. Bouncing back from 2008's disappointing Big Bold Letters, the hometown heroes' final album is also its most emotionally charged, tackling the departure of drummer Yogi Maxwell in the taunting kiss-off "Fourth of July" and the pains of being perennially labeled the next big thing in "Haven." "I've been stuck for a decade," laments sister Stella Maxwell in the latter with her tart trademark delivery. That's a crying shame, too, considering the skate-park spank of "Gang Slang" and power-pop spark of "Kiss Thy Ring." The live DVD accompanying the first 1,000 copies serves as a nice parting souvenir though, capturing the local quartet at Emo's on Halloween 2008, with Stella dressed as Dorothy. Cruiserweight gets the last laugh finally, with a full-costume encore as Guns n' Roses tribute act Mr. Brownstone, which nails "Welcome to the Jungle."

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