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Team USA

Monday, March 18; Fredericks Music Lounge

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Formed at Washington University in the glorious indie-rock days of the mid-'90s but just now releasing their proper CD debut, New York City's Team USA bring their amped-up power pop to town for a one-night homecoming show. Although a keg party in University City or a triple bill with Mercy Me and the Bean Boys in Cicero's Basement would probably have been a more appropriate show, the friendly confines of Frederick's should suit the fun-loving foursome just fine. Musically, Team USA recalls classic '70s popsters such as Cheap Trick and 20/20, with singer/bassist John Mathias' Tom Verlaine-ishly sneered vocals offset nicely by guitarist Jackie Gendel's sweetly sung backup. Drummer Andy O'Neill and singer/guitarist Mike Reddy round out the band, creating a full "wall of pop" sound that fortunately never overwhelms the straightforward songwriting.

After several years of relative inactivity, Team USA released a four-song EP last year, followed by the brand-new Listen to the Night, both on the Startime International label. They've also stepped up their touring schedule, scoring a coveted showcase at South by Southwest. Here's hoping Team USA begin making regular trips back to the city of their birth.

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