Aviso’hara certainly makes a better case for Sonic Youth-informed geek-pop than Modest Mouse does, the latter being so cloyingly “quirky” as to warrant exile for both components in that unhallowed marriage (yes, that includes th’ Youth). The New Jersey quartet’s Goodnight Sweetheart carries little indie pretension and much college boy charm, which, in this context, make the sawing chords, tweaked high-notes, and punchy drums that much better by comparison. Time and time again, however, Aviso’hara overly relies on tempos culled from the most predictable batch of “emo” breakdowns (we’re talking Texas is the Reason or Christie Front Drive here), making the act akin to shooting oneself in the foot. And, sadly, by the time Goodnight Sweetheart ‘s over and done with, the band’s shot itself so much it can no longer stand. Damn shame — they looked so cute in their suits.
Vital Cog, P.O. Box 7846, Princeton, NJ 08543, www.vitalcog.com