Sunday, July 26, 2009 gets it!

There aren't many singing/songwriting drummers in rock & roll, but Yayhoos stickman Terry Anderson is one of the best. The third release by his part-time band, abbreviated as the OAK Team, is what you'd expect from a trashy, country-infused Yayhoo. It's filled with loose Stonesy rockers packed around tight choruses and enough wry, smirking lyrics to put a smile on the face of the grouchiest classic rock fan. He easily shifts gears from the twangy Dave Edmunds/Rockpile-styled country of "Found Missin'" to the Who guitar chords of "Is We or Ain't We" and the Memphis-baked Big Star pop of "About You." Anderson, who also contributes guitar, has a knack for a sharp hook, which makes each one of these minor gems sparkle with a dusky glow. He captures the backwoods trailer life perfectly in the sly "Pow'ful 'Merca" (redneck shorthand for "powerful America") and twists '70s soul around a Mick Jagger-influenced vocal on "Wrong for That," the latter with a crafty sitar-sounding guitar line so prevalent in the R&B of that period. It's a goof, yet it's also solid enough to seem like a great lost soul cover. But it's the crunchy "Willie Mays," a rocker that sounds like the Stones fronting the Fountains of Wayne, and the wily lyrical Randy Newman-inspired humor of "You Had Me at Get Lost" that make this album (released on the tiny indie Doublenaught imprint) such an under-the-radar find. Yayhoos fans who know how talented Anderson is will naturally gravitate to this, but all those who enjoy a dose of smart-alecky wit with their singalong pop/rock should seek out this crackling, dozen-track dose of instantly hummable tunes. National Champions isn't going to change your life, but it's likely to make you feel a little better after it's over than when you pushed play -- which is good enough.

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