Too Much Joy is a surpassingly bratty and smart — almost too smart — power pop foursome from suburban Scarsdale, N.Y. This is their third album; it’s a rollicking, sometimes dizzying amalgam of startling hooks, cheap laughs, high-level rock & roll jokes, clean hits — and just a few misses. ”Crush Story” is the standout, an initially smirking essay on that transient emotional phenomenon known as the crush. But then we hear what Too Much Joy can do: Their singing takes over, their mockery fades, and the track turns out to be a great pop song. The record ends with ”Theme Song,” a very funny ballad about the dangerous rock & roll life, struggling-young-rock-band division, which can get so risky that it even includes sponging off fans. ”To create,” the group proclaims grandiloquently, ”you must destroy.” Neat. Strongly melodic and unflaggingly energetic, Cereal Killers snaps, crackles, and pops.
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