Relentlessly catchy power pop from a couple of ex-members of Cake. Guitarist Greg Brown wrote what was arguably Cake's biggest hit, "The Distance," and a lot of material on deathray's debut echoes that quirky catchiness -- for example, the stunning "My Lunatic Friends" has alt.radio fit written all over it -- but with a glossier sheen that reminds me (at various points) of Weezer, the Cars, Cheap Trick, and (especially on "What Would You Do" and "Now That I Am Blind") the late, lamented Material Issue. But deathray manage to pull this off without ever sounding derivative -- despite the similarities, they definitely have a sound all their own. Great debut from a band I expect (and hope) to hear a lot more of!
Capricorn Records, 83 Walton St., Atlanta, GA 30033; www.capri.corn.com