On this EP, a follow-up to a full-length debut album last year, The Modeens definitely rock mightily, charging confidently through fuzz-enriched garage-rock. But the Tucson band's secret ingredients are infectious pop melodies and the way bassist Cristina Williams and guitarist Jamie Laboz create irresistible vocal harmonies, no matter which of them sings lead on a given track.
The relentless pace is maintained by drummer Jeff DiDay, as well as by what seems like an orchestra of tambourines and shakers. Dave Prival's vintage-sounding keyboards help create essential mood throughout.
Perhaps the best example of The Modeens' magic is "Werewolf Attack," which actually sounds like the groovy theme song to a Saturday-morning cartoon in the early 1970s, and I mean that in the most complimentary fashion. At a brief 2 1/2 minutes, it's short enough to serve that purpose, but it also demands repeated plays.
Just as interesting is the rambunctious "El Camino," an homage to one of the best weird/cool cars ever; it struts and wiggles in vintage 1960s R&B style. That soul-rock vibe continues on "Something on My Mind," which fuses a syncopated Bo Diddley-style rhythm to mind-bending psychedelic rock; Laboz's guitar leads here are especially engaging. It's a done deal when a closing cover of The Monkees' "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" further emphasizes the classic combination of grimy garage-punk and shiny pop.
Time to hit "play" again.