Hearing a catchy pop song is such a pleasure. Thanks to Satin Gum's self-titled EP, I've had four such songs bouncing around in my head for the past week. If the group's name sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because it worked rather industriously to make itself known via a certain social-networking site. If you ignored Satin Gum's friend request (and really, who can be blamed for ignoring yet another band?), now's your chance to make nice.
Brian Spekis on guitar, Travis Craig on bass, and Dan Vavro on drums sound like they know what they're doing -- put-together but not overly polished, catchy but not pandering. Evoking bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Superchunk, they do an impressive job of capturing the fuzzy lo-fi joy of '90s alternative rock.
Like much of the EP, the jangly, hiccup-y opening track, "Apparitions (Sweet!!!)," is built around a Robert Pollard-esque structural weirdness and urgency. On "I Got a D.U.I., Babe," Spekis uses his keyboard to channel The Cars. The song may be a warning against drunk driving, but it's kinda hard to hear the lyrics over all the hooks. Things lose a little momentum with the hazy "No We Are Not Naming Our Kids After IKEA Products" (maybe it's just weighed down by its title), but "Running Red Lights" makes for a pleasantly messy closing track.
Obviously, one's enjoyment of Satin Gum depends on an appreciation for crunchy, buzzing guitars. But if you dig that, Satin Gum does it right.