Sometimes a band's name can be immensely revealing—especially when wondering about the tunes that reside on a given album. Take, for an apt example, Me Timbers, the new disc from Dallas' Jokersdeck. As the band's name may suggest, the record is a random collection of sounds and vibes that never quite becomes what one hopes it might just turn out to be.

Aaron Slaughter's clean, harmless vocals are tailor-made for late-'90s alt-rock radio. At times, Slaughter seems to channel his inner Tyson Ritter, but for a slightly more updated sound. Toss a few mercy points the band's way, though; every attempt was made to avoid emo puppy-love as a lyrical topic. Unfortunately, though, the mercy points are quickly revoked when the literal rigidity of a song like "What's My Motivation" takes over ("Do your job, buy a car, pay rent/Marry, kids, that's it") and, in turn, sends listeners longing for the high art of Lit.

From toothless takes on blues, alt-rock, power-pop and even prog-rock, this mixed bag of styles is a full and confusing one. In attempting to define the band's sound by wrapping each number into its own lukewarm sonic Snuggie, Jokersdeck waves goodbye to cohesion and misses out on even a modicum of distinction that could possibly set its sound apart from the hit-makers of the previous decade.

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Kelly Dearmore