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Ted Leo And The Pharmacists: Another Jolt

He's been assembling finely tuned pop-punk anthems for years, but songwriter Ted Leo still sings as if it's his first day on the job. Leo just released his sixth album with his longtime band The Pharmacists, The Brutalist Bricks, and "The Mighty Sparrow" christens it with some burning guitar chords and raw vocals.

The band plays with the passion of a thousand basement shows, but small details aren't overlooked in the heat of the moment. Verses align seamlessly with choruses and turn smoothly into understated bridges. Acoustic guitars are laced into the mix, and bouncy drum fills jump from left channel to right, making for a panoramic rock experience. "The Mighty Sparrow" fades out with the same fiery guitars it rode in on, but like any good thriller, it comes back for one last jolt before it quickly bows out. If music is art, there's not a wall sturdy enough to hang this on.

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Anthony Fantano
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