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Local Licks

This week, we review The Wearies, Bears! Bears! Bears!, and Pale Blue Dot.

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The Wearies, The Wearies EP

Power-pop quartet The Wearies, led by singer/songwriter Erik Mullin, formed in 2005 and put out two EPs and a full-length, but this self-titled EP features a new lineup. Opener "Dynamite Moves" charms with a bubbly hey-oh chorus and a guitar hook as catchy as the one on "In the Street" by Big Star. Ballad "Piano Suite" and Seventies rock ditty "Out of My Hands" display Mullin's impressive vocal range, his high-notes evoking the sensitive-male yearning of early Elvis Costello. The EP's seven songs are standard pop fare, but Mullin's voice is a rare find. (self-released)

At Neck of the Woods (406 Clement St., San Francisco) on Friday, Apr. 5. 8 p.m., $5. 

Bears! Bears! Bears!, All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

A lot of bands that claim to be post-punk easily capture the basic elements — reverb-drenched guitar, anxious bass lines, and bleak lyrics — but few know when to dial it back. That restraint is sadly missing from the debut album of Bears! Bears! Bears! The band seems inspired by Interpol at its most aggressive: volatile guitar riffs, throbbing bass lines, and dramatic vocals recounting girl problems of the quarter-life-crisis variety. Unfortunately, it's so over-the-top that the songwriter's misery is passed on to the listener. (Twirl Tunez Records)

At Cafe du Nord (2170 Market St., San Francisco) on Friday, Mar. 29. 9:30 p.m., $10. 

Pale Blue Dot, Mapzzz EP19

Local electronic label/collective Mapzzz releases a few EPs a year, and Mapzzz EP19 offers two new instrumental tracks from Pale Blue Dot, the solo side project of Adam Myatt, one-half of pop duo James & Evander. "Voyage" starts off simple but shifts to dreamy and tripped-out as New Wave guitar riffs and swirling synths create a wall of sound. There are more surprises in "Broken Tether," which has a cold and brooding synth-pop feel until, as the title implies, the song breaks midway, fading the synths down to near silence as an emotive guitar melody takes over. The EP also includes a solid remix of "Broken Tether" by Shortcircles. (Mapzzz)

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