(feat. track – “Hello Fascination”)

Discovering this album might have been my biggest revelation of the year, if only because I disliked their previous album, “It’s Classy Not Classic,”  so much. It took catching their wildly fun live set a couple times this year for me to give “Hello Fascination” a chance. But where “Classy” felt gimmicky and unfocused, “Hello Fascination” is lean, mean and sharply honed.  They’ve done away with the excess screaming and unnecessary breakdowns that seem to plague most of what’s come to be lumped into the “Crabcore” wasteland. (As did another album which came awful close to making this list, Watchout! There’s Ghosts’ “Ghost Town”).  All those elements remain, but none of it feels forced here, it’s all in service to the song.

I hear everything from Boys Like Girls to Marilyn Manson to Cash Cash to post-hardcore floating through BC’s tunes, funneled into a series of slick, concise, seriously hooky pop nuggets.  Give the album two or three spins – you’ll bob your head, you’ll dance in your seat, and you’ll have choruses stuck in your head for the next month.

(As an aside, has there ever been a completely-landscape-changing musical innovation that’s gone as unheralded as the mute-scream?)