Arlo

July 26

The four members of Arlo are the kind of back-porch rockers who speed through a 30-minute set at your local club, so it makes sense that the group is named for its Tuesday-night soundman back in L.A. The group's second disc, Stab the Unstoppable Hero, whittles Weezer pop out of playful three-part harmonies, SoCal psychedelia and a twang that successfully confirms the Texas roots of singer-guitarists Sean Spillane and Nate Greely. Likely to deconstruct the significance of blowing out a flip-flop, having, let's say, stepped on a pop-top, the pair record life with whimsy: The acidhead ooh-wop of "Silkworm" balances nicely against the Kinks backbeat gutcheck of "Little American" ("Are you made of salt or are you sour?/Do you fall apart in the shower?"). All your favorite nods are here: "Runaround" is early Beatles at 90 beats per minute; "Culture" is like Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis dropping by Wilco's Being There sessions. Yet Arlo's tunesmiths have a decidedly upbeat bent all their own. Stab should carve the final letters on Sub Pop's grunge epitaph, if it's not kicking dirt on an already cold grave.

 
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