FM Knives – Useless & Modern (Broken Rekids)
Sacramento’s FM Knives try WAY too hard on their full-length debut to sound like their influences. Useless & Modern resembles a collection of Television Personalities or Buzzcocks B-sides both in songcraft (spiky, kicky punk pop to buy skinny pants to) and soundcraft (the recording is all tin all the time). I say B-sides because only half the album does anything memorable with that sound. One other thing: the harmonies and surf influences that pepper Useless remind me a lot of The Hi-Fives, a late 90s Lookout! band that leaned more toward 1960s Nuggets than 1970s punk/new wave, but nevertheless plied the same sort of giddy rock pep.