Songs From An American Movie, Volume 1: Learning How To Smile

...will continue to mean jack over here.

"Why," asked thousands of Suede-crazed Brits during the grunge boom years, "are these Yank rock hunks, with their platinum disc-filled penthouses and seven-foot supermodel girlfriends, so bastard miserable?"

Answer: because otherwise they end up sounding like this. Former dab hands at the gloomy, polished H|sker D| chug, grunge-pop turncoats Everclear's third album is so relentlessly upbeat, one feels compelled to stub cigarettes out on their arms and yell, "Snap out of it!"

over 'AM Radio''s cod-nostalgia without clenching your fists, you either possess Zen-like levels of tolerance, or are a member of Gay Dad.

Amongst '...American Movie''s scoutish campfire strums, bad Chilis homages and occasional tastefully Beach Boys-ish moments, we find 'Unemployed Boyfriend' sounding like Lyte Funkie Ones' 'Girl On TV', and as such a key to their current way of thinking. It'll undoubtedly catapult Everclear into increasingly vulgar US arenas, but will continue to mean jack over here. Still, '...Volume 2' is promised for later this year, so let's break out the razor blades and hope for the best.
4 / 10

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