Mêlée isn't cutting-edge: After three full-lengths and a jump to a major label (that'd be Warner Brothers), the Orange County quartet still geeks out on piano-saturated love songs the more radio-friendly, the better. Sunny, optimistic and downright timeless, the band's upcoming album, Devils and Angels, brings to mind bygone moments on west-coast beaches still untarnished by teen-marketed TV dramas and their gut-punch soundtracks. And while Mêlée is marketed as pop-punk, with its clap-happy choruses and guileless "ooh, ooh, ooh!" harmonies, it falls more accurately between a less-introspective Jackson Browne and "Footloose"-era Kenny Loggins. It doesn't get less hip or more memorable than that.
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