If you’re old enough to remember MTV’s 120 Minutes or that moment right after grunge gave way to ‘90s alt-rock (think Everclear minus the angst), then you are required to buy Watch Your Candles, Watch Your Knives, the second album from The Marble Index. Opening with a trio of top-notch riff-rockers where attitude only occasionally dances around with the delirious pop melody, the band harkens back to a day when rock radio wasn’t so full of itself: instant hipster parties beamed straight from your portable CD player. “All That I Know” reminds me of when Nada Surf was a bit more rollicking, “We Always Complain” sounds suspiciously like the Death Cab for Cutie B-side “World Shut Your Mouth”, and the rest remind you of how awesome Imperial Teen were before the Jawbreaker soundtrack hit. Watch Your Candles gets a bit bogged down in the final stretch, and Brad Germain’s world-weary lyrics are both familiar and dull at the same time, but when the band manages to create such a great, spirited rock record like this, who’s one to split hairs?
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