The Rocket Summer's Bryce Avary establishes himself as a formidable rock force with "Of Men and Angels" (Island). He packs esteem-building anthems (like the single "You Gotta Believe") with memorable, indie-leaning pop melodies and rock-oriented guitar, tempering Dashboard-like drama with youthful determination. There's inventiveness, too - lyrically, in the crafty piano pop of "Japanese Exchange Student," and musically, in the welding of '80s U2-ish guitar to '00s post-emo in "Pull Myself Together." "I Need a Break - But I'd Rather Have a Breakthrough," he declares in one song. Now, he's got both.
THE ROCKET SUMMER
"Of Men and Angels"
BOTTOM LINE A clever, dramatic rock breakthrough