space city rock –

parts of my bicycle are made of chrome – taggart is your paradigmatic drums-bass-guitar punky foursome who ping-pongs between grand anthemic gestures, smart, butt-smacking pop songs, and outright emo-ish misery. i normally don’t go in for this kind of thing — i really had my fill of this about 8 years ago — but taggart, though indefatigably earnest (sample lyric, from “bufferless”: “i can’t fashion these clumsy bits of passion into words / love is cruel, like a child”), attack their sturdy, well-constructed songs with energy and verve and make it virtually impossible for a sourpuss like me to count ’em out. and there’s a lot to like: the anglophilic new wave ditties “chelsea” and “california,” the joyous full-blast jangle-rock of “finders,” the slow build and open-throated crescendos of “deferent” and “weekend politics,” the rocket-sled rides of “little builder” and the album’s opener, “lifeboat.” some nice piano and organ touches distinguish these guys from most everybody else who’s mined this territory; taggart’s a real band, and the whole cd is just swell. the stumbling last song “final chapter,” a replacements-style countryesque number (“well I’m four drinks deep and i’m thinkin’ of growin’ up / and i’d finally have somethin’ to say”), only adds to their considerable charm. (ma) (space city rock)