Formed four years ago by four freshman at New Jersey's Rutgers University, Midtown is Rob Hitt (drums), Tyler Rann (guitar), Gabe Saporta (bass) and Heath Saraceno. The last three trade off on lead vocals -- sometimes in the same song. And most of Saporta's words are free of irony, innuendo and self-pity. Imagine that!
There's good energy to tracks like "Become What You Hate," "Still Trying" and "Perfect," while "Like a Movie" (the band's first single and video) and "A Faulty Foundation" dip toes into more pop and rock waters, respectively. However, the band's self-mythologizing about its not-too-distant-or-difficult "struggling days" on "In the Songs" is, well, laughable.
Still, there's more meat to Midtown than the publicity photo or sound snippet might indicate -- just don't make that analogy to these strident vegetarians and animal rights activists.