Gone Hazel
"The Kids Are Bored" (Rep By Pop Music)

by Mike Messersmith

From the very first few seconds of this disc, you know you're in for something a bit different with regard to the glut of sameness that seems to have permeated the rock/pop/alternative/whatever-you-call-it world of MTV-patronized music we've been forced fed. These guys are pop--they make no bones about it--but they do it well, and there's plenty of guitar crunch and feedback from this Toronto-based trio to satisfy those who need their alterna-fix.

What makes this disc a few steps above the rest are, quite simply, the songs and the vocals. Guitarist Roberto LiVolsi and Bassist Bob Cellini are the creative forces here, writing two-minute pop gems that hold up lyrically as well as musically. Cellini's singing alternates between pure smoothness ("Famous")and raw anger ("Circle Jerk," "If I Could Rule The World..."), while LiVolsi's quirky, almost smart-assed crooning ("Instant Therapy," "The Kids Are Bored") is a perfect contrast. Drummer Tim Woodger also makes a strong contribution with the infectious "Mr. Monday." The disc clocks in at just under 24 minutes, proving once again that it's not how long it is, but how you use it.

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