Chicago's Screeching Weasel spent more than a decade trying to convince its underground audience how much the world sucked. After the group disbanded for the umpteenth time last year, primary songwriter Ben Weasel seems to have had a spiritual awakening of sorts, as evidenced on his full-length solo debut. Like SW's hook-a-minute ditties, Weasel's songs are abrupt and infectious, barely taking flight before crashing back to earth. His sugarcoated rasp hasn't lost any of its sandpapered glory, but whereas he once railed about hating everything and everyone -- particularly himself -- Weasel now sings about compassion, beauty and connecting with others. On the title track, the longtime proponent of meditation neatly summarizes his newfound philosophy: It gets hard to practice what you preach when you've experienced so much dishonesty/But if we're ever going to trust each other, well then, it's gonna have to start with someone. Fortunately, Weasel hasn't lost the ability to set his superlatives to gum-snapping soundtracks that are as clever as they are catchy.