BY JOHN SCHACHT
“It’s a real cool town, and I wish I could leave today,” goes the opening line from the two-minute shot of adrenaline “Cool Town” that opens Boston-based Mean Creek’s sophomore LP, Local Losers.
It’s a sentiment that might as well also serve as a mission statement for the LP’s eight short sonic blasts of resignation and redemption. The album barely covers 20 minutes, but in that short span the coruscating guitars, thundering rhythms and melodic sense links the quartet to the city’s heralded tradition of punk-inspired rock acts like the Pixies, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur Jr., and early Lemonheads.
Unlike the band’s 2010 The Sky (Or the Underground), Mean Creek drops any pretense toward longer indie song structure here. In the process, Local Losers highlights the boy-girl vocals of singers/guitarists Chris Keene and Aurore Ounjian, who turn thumping, feedback-laden tracks like “My Madeline,” “Johnny Allen” and “Night Running” into X-like anthems chronicling busted love affairs, confusion, loneliness and dissatisfaction.
There’s nothing here that transcends into, say, the Replacements’ best Beautiful Loser territory. But Local Losers does a good job conveying the angst and boredom of being young and stuck in one’s hometown digs, and the escape valve that only loud and fast rock & roll offers.
DOWNLOAD: “Cool Town,” “Mass. Border” “Johnny Allen”