Words about a girlfriend who “likes to play chess in her birthday suit” belong most anywhere in its discography, from 1996’s “The Mind of Mandy Moon” (where the line resides within the delightfully raunchy “She Likes That Shit”) to “The Trouble with Sebastian,” the pop-rock quartet’s seventh album, which it digitally released July 26 through Bandcamp.com.
Now a decade and a half since “Mandy Moon,” Klipspringer’s preserved the tradition of Oklahoma power-pop (à la Dwight Tilley, The Fellowship Students and The All-American Rejects), although still infused with its signature sophomoric charm and spurts of frustrated punk. Except for last track “A-OK Big Funtime Dancing,” a catchy house dance tune that just sort of hits you without warning, that is.
“The Trouble with Sebastian” paces nicely in 10 songs, from the very Bruce Springsteen-ish anthemics of “Make the Suburbs Glow” to the raw, soft-punk guitar power in the cheeky, self-referential track “Klipspringer” (“thanks for buying our T-shirt”) and grungier, more aggressive “Don’t Touch Me.”
The group sounds very much like one that grew up on The Police, and the same band that recorded “Hottest Girl on My Block” in 2007 (a “12” Dance Remix” appears here), a hilarious, Fountains of Wayne-type ode to ... well, yeah — you’re smart enough to figure that one out. —Matt Carney