The Mole People

Lost Age (Punctum Records)

Texas Platters

As the name implies, Austin's Mole People haven't tunneled up into the light of broader recognition, but on debut Lost Age, informed by the psychedelicized nuggetry of Sixties garage rock and overdriven sugar of Seventies power-pop, there's plenty to dig. Over ice-creamy power chords that could be mistaken for the Misfits' "Some Kinda Hate," soulful frontman Joshua Gamma pleads "Why Don't You Call My Name?" Those youthful sentiments – frustrated, self-doubting, awkwardly romantic – extend into the equally virginal "Just You Wait," reminiscent of the Beat. The quintet toughens up with the middle-finger garage punk of "Don't Mean So Much to Me," then sequence slow and serene for "Exploding," which soars on synthesizer overdubs into the long fade that closes Side A. Flip-side lead-off "(Memo From) Lightnin'" rides Gamma's spring-heeled chorus "Last night we had a rodeo" atop a firefight between guitarists Art Levy and Ben Seligson before the five-minute psych drone of "Coming Back to Life" provides a late highlight. No surprise the Mole People came together as deejays at KVRX. They damn well know what a good record should sound like.

***.5

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