Picks and Pans Review: Whirligig

updated 03/13/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/13/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Caulfields

This group's debut disc is an exceptionally smart collection of pop-rock gems with a sound that recalls the glory days of Elvis Costello & the Attractions. It pulls you in with memorable melodies toughed up with blasts of rock-guitar crunch, but what makes Whirligig more than just fun is its witty wordplay. Two of the best are "Alex Again," the tale of a young femme fatale whose father died of "a stroke or had his ego stroked to death," and "Devil's Diary," the testimonial of a messianic young rocker who is "stage-diving off the Church of the Holier-Than-Thou." The Caulfields' songs have a depth and humor that, when combined with their knack for pop hooks, makes them a band to remember. (A&M)

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