FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE Fountains Of Wayne (Atlantic)

Puzzlingly slated in the music press for sounding like the Electric Light Orchestra (which a) they don’t at all, although they’re rumoured to be fond of covering "Can’t Get It Out Of My Head" in concert and b) would be alright by me if they did), the Fountains Of Wayne are actually more in the grunge-lite Beach Boys (especially on the closing track "Everything’s Ruined", which sounds like a dead ringer for the young Brian Wilson)/detoxed Lemonheads/Tom Petty sort of mould, all sunny harmonies and jolly tunes, with a sort of American take on Damon Albarn’s character studies. The best bits surprisingly aren’t the singles - the rather generic and blatant "Radiation Vibe" and "Sink To The Bottom" - but the gentler, more observed "Sick Day" and the not unamusing "You Curse At Girls" and "Leave The Biker" ("He’s got his arm around every man’s dream/And crumbs in his beard from the seafood special") - the ghost of 10CC suggests itself at this point. For summer music with bite, look no further.