With references to Hüsker Dü and the ’80s indie rock revolution added to their regular generic punk pop, Pennsylvania’s Digger comes out stronger on this new album than ever before. Their style of music brings to mind some of the blandest bands of the punk rock world — Blink-182, latter-day Offspring, Bloodhound Gang — but Digger is one of those bands that manage to rise above the genre’s inherent lameness to come up with something of real substance and style. And if Keystone isn’t the album of the year, there are still more than enough on here to encourage repeated listening and a fair share of happy grinning.

Keystone is far more melodically oriented than any of the band’s former albums, although this is still to-the-point punk rock at heart. Radio may potentially love it, but that’d probably be more by default than anything else. And if Digger do sing lines like “Take me baby, take me like a photograph” (!), at least they make sure it’s done on a fine, bouncy standout-track like “If You Know What I Mean.”

Digger are not afraid of holding back and taking their time, and ultimately it’s their considered and profound love for the music they play that shines through on here and ensure that Keystone ranks well above your average punk pop album. Good work, then.

Hopeless Records: http://www.hopelessrecords.com

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