"Car and Driver," part Zen Koan (I am the car and/I am the driver) and part personal confession, is what the Left Banke might sound like if the lead singer had strep and the sound man was drunk. "If I Wanted to Be Famous (I'da Shot Someone)," with its Archies-like backing vocals, might have appeared as a cereal box single thirty years ago if the title sentiment hadn't been so appalling.
Chris Lopez's lyrics hold their own in the buzz. On "Please Don't Go Downtown Tonight," Lopez reminds a drifting lover, When we met/we never slept/there wasn't time, and his ache, almost campy in other songs, cuts straight to the quick. After the first dozen songs, the deconstruction begins to repeat itself, but the Rock*A*Teens' gizmo remains surprisingly weird and wonderful.