It’s catchy and clever
California pop rock



Let's start with the obvious: A band whose members are just a few years removed from high school shouldn't be so taken with the harmonious chirping of the Beach Boys. Nor should they exhibit any sort of penchant for the synthesizer-assisted melodies of those poofy-haired titans of '70s mustache rock, the Electric Light Orchestra.

Yet it's all true: Los Angeles outfit Rooney has bypassed the feigned rage and thinly veiled anguish so in vogue with their contemporaries in favor of sunny hooks and brilliant melodic bursts of pop bands of yore.

Their auspicious self-titled debut is as appropriate for a top-down cruise through Malibu as a night out on the decadent Sunset Strip. From the distorted jangle of "Blueside" and the irresistible "Stay Away" to the anthemic melancholy of "Losing All Control," theirs is a sound that cleverly condenses the past four decades of rock 'n' roll into one tidy little package.

Their pairing with such garage-pop luminaries as the Strokes, the Vines, Weezer and the Donnas on those bands' respective tours seemed heaven-made, as was their inclusion on the Ramones tribute album, "We're a Happy Family," which granted the shaggy-maned mavericks equal standing alongside rock heavyweights U2, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day, among others.

In this age of information, it's no surprise that via the Internet, Rooney has cultivated a sizable following of fans who've never seen the band strum a single chord. It's been a catchy, cleverly constructed sound, above all else, that has made Rooney such a novel, buzz-worthy band. Who would have thought?

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