Dropkick-Paper Trails. Death, taxes and Dropkick. Three things you can count on as this Scottish band releases an album a year like clockwork, and 2012's entry is Paper Trails. They specialize in the melodic pop of bands like Teenage Fanclub and Cosmic Rough Riders with a touch of alt-country, suffused with Pernice Brothers-like harmonies, and the standouts this time around are the Summerteeth-era Wilco-esque numbers "Words Best Left" and the title track, the jaunty "Another Day" and the irresistibly jangly "Annabelle". Always great stuff, and we'll see them again in 2013.
Dan Miraldi-Sugar & Adrenaline. When you think about it, "Sugar & Adrenaline" might be the perfect title for a power pop album. Ohio's Dan Miraldi does his level best to live up to the title with tracks like "Few Rock Harder", a great Butch Walker-type tune complete with "uh-huh"s in the chorus, the punchy pop of "The Runaround", and the charming retro rock of "Record Collection". But Miraldi succeeds with the slower and mid-tempo tunes as well with "Yonder St. Sebastian" and "The Many Shades of Blue".
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