Sonny and the Sunsets, 'Hit After Hit' (Fat Possum)

Hit After Hit
Critical Mass
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Label: Fat Possum

by Jon Young

Sonny Smith sings like he just fell out of bed, and his Sunsets follow suit with cheerfully casual garage rock that mixes surf, punk, soul, and '50s teen pop, yet never panders to nostalgia. While the San Francisco quartet's second outing is only slightly more polished than its first, don't mistake them for a crew of hapless amateurs. The playing is deceptively forceful, and the songs cut surprisingly deep. After the hilariously cartoonish bravado of the funky "Girls Beware," the pitiable "Pretend You Love Me" will break your heart.

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