San Antonio seems like an odd place for an artsy power pop band to call home, but that's where Buttercup is based. The group has been wowing San Antonio crowds for years at its Grackle Monday performance art experiments, and with new album Hot Love it has delivered 12 catchy, accessible tracks that will undoubtedly swell the ranks of the "Buttercult" fanatics far outside South Texas. The title track has already caught the attention of National Public Radio, which featured "Hot Love" on a recent Song of the Day segment. There's no denying the appeal of the cracked lyrics of frontman Erik Sanden or the thinking man's guitar work of longtime San Antonio music scenester Joe Reyes, and producer Mark Rubinstein's bright touch is perfectly suited to both the busy rockers and easy ballads. With a style that mixes the quirky and the catchy, Buttercup's rock anthems, such as "Hello, Goodbye" and "National Spelling Bee Contest," climb into the synapses and make themselves very difficult to forget. Skip past the group's wacky performance-art history and just take Buttercup for what it is now -- a seasoned pop band with a possible career-making new album.


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