The Stereotypes 3

[Empyrean; 2005]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: ’60s revival pop-rock, British Invasion, California summer
Others: Earlimart, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beulah

I've never heard of this band before, but apparently they've been getting some decent press from the Untrustables -- All Music, Billboard, Rolling Stone, etc. The Stereotypes are a San Diego-based '60s-style pop-rock band who wear their influences on their sleeves and sound exactly like you'd expect. They strafe between strummy, bouncy acoustic numbers like album opener "Emily" and more driving rock numbers like "My New Friend," "Kill, Keys, Money and Jewelry," and the infectious "Need Some Action," which hinges on a gigantic overdriven bassline.

Last fall I received a promo from a similar San Diego-based band, Silver Sunshine (whose name also appears on a concert flyer on the Stereotypes' website) and didn't even bother to review it because the tunes were so inoffensive and forgettable. Looking over the Stereotypes' press material, I frankly didn't expect anything different. And for sections of 3 (which, by the way... can't they come up with some better titles for their releases? Previous recordings were dubbed 1 and 2), they hit the same barriers of derivation. Honestly, none of these bands are doing anything new, but when they happen to do it exceedingly well, as in Beulah's case, for instance, you might find yourself listening to the come-latelys more than the big boys. 3 includes a bonus disc of outtakes and b-sides which don't sound any different than the summery jams on the 10-track, 30-minute full-length, but at least they're making the effort to please.

So, in the interest of trying to decipher the wealth of fascinating, difficult, and opaque things happening in the underground, this reviewer must admit there isn't much time in his schedule for a pop record. I can't fault the Stereotypes for this, however -- not everybody wants to post-rock. The emphasis on "diversity" (which basically means they have both loud and soft songs) is a little irritating, and the band hasn't reached the pop plateaus Beulah (or, uh, the Beatles) once reached; but this is really better than I expected. So, hey, maybe you'll like it, too.

1. Emily
2. My New Friend
3. Til We Meet Again
4. Need Some Action
5. Did You Know
6. Kill Keys Money & Jewelry
7. Dontcha Think
8. Don't Say A Thing
9. Down To Earth
10.Triangle Girl