Ive been crushing on Joe Adragnas Junior League project for a minute now. Its good, clean fun, the kind of wide-appeal pop rock a la Scott McCaughey or Sloan that radio stations could get paid to play and still respect themselves in the morning. (Hes doing himself no favors with the Google-proof name, however; not only does every American city have a Junior League, but theres already a better-established Junior League Band in D.C.) Adragna has readied his sophomore album, Smile Shoot Smile, and its best tracks most of them up-tempo, sequenced upfront and seasoned with smart guitar solos are a veritable power-pop jungle gym. Its the End rocks a dribbling Spoon backbeat to buoy Adragnas throaty, full-throttle vocals, and opener Everybody Loves Me (But You) sounds like Elliott Smith giving up self-loathing to compose hits for Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do!
The Junior League premieres Smile Shoot Smile at a CD-release party tonight at Carrollton Station.