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Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012

Certain Stars

The Great Destroyer (Cuba Libre)

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With the group's third CD, Certain Stars begs the question: Just what is "indie" rock? The Milwaukee/Chicago quartet (which takes its name from a Superchunk song) offers a profusion of hooks and vocal harmonies from the classic Big Star school of power-pop, but also subtly incorporates '70s-'80s corporate rock, alt country and punk to tuneful ends. Atop it all, the group sings snarky songs of disaffected romance, pissiness and—however buried amid indifference and acrimony—actual tenderness. The lyrical effect suggests Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, which is no bad thing. The Great Destroyer's catchiest song is the only one DJs will have to edit for language, taking a bit of the fun out of it. But that's pretty rock 'n' roll of Certain Stars, too—just like their music, be it "indie" or whatever you want to call it. Either way, it's pretty great.