Julie Seabaugh

They’ve won the Rock the Rainbow contest and scored the super-sweet gig of opening for The Hold Steady, and now The Skooners deliver a full-length that backs up the hype with not just good fortune, but talent as well. Like a less shaggy Kings of Leon, the quintet deliver dirty garage rock that somehow comes across as both amped-up and thoroughly ambivalent. Like a dancier Strokes, they’ve got indie attitude to spare. But where the Kings go Southern and the Strokes go self-indulgent, the Skooners go spazzy, courtesy of Scott Rundquist’s joyously unbridled piano flourishes. The release is all the more remarkable considering its 10 professional-caliber tracks were recorded in a local bedroom earlier this year. –Julie Seabaugh

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