Artist: Greenlawn Abbey Track: "Ode to the Blue Room" Album: Foiled Again!

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In the interest of full disclosure, Greenlawn Abbey drummer Josh McGregor and I used to play on the same baseball teams growing up. We attended the same high school. We've remaing good friends since then.

But no AP code of conduct will keep me from liking his band - or suggesting that you should too. So there, I'm an Abbey fan and proud of it. In fact, there's never been a better time to hop along the bandwagon.

Though it had some of the coolest cover art of any Columbus release, something seemed too unpolished on their initial 2004 offering, which featured a complacent selection of garage rock and tunes about chicks. They seemed content with sounding rough around the edges - edges which had been tempered by the Ramones, Replacements and others who made due with less.

That slacker chic still curls its snarling lips on their latest, Foiled Again, but the four boys from North Campus find themselves stronger songwriters, more refined studio craftsmen. The sound might not be crystal clear, but the latent edge doesn't dampen tighter arrangements, catchier hooks and vocals more often in tune.

"Ode to the Blue Room" shows a softer side - it's a slower onslaught than most of their work - but it still rocks like the band's regular after-hours parties. If you haven't been to one, I'd suggest those too.

Greenlawn Abbey will release their new album, out on local imprint Datapanik, with a show Saturday, September 29, at Cafe Bourbon Street. Check out the full "Locals Only" piece by Chris DeVille in the paper this Thursday.