• Knapsack
  • Silver Sweepstakes (Alias) 1995 

Pavement’s spiritual connection to northern California isn’t entirely lost on this loud young quartet from Davis, but it’s certainly trivialized. Habitual hastiness, the guitars’ unwavering sizzle-roar and singer Blair Shehan’s unfortunate ability to bellow in eerie imitation of Perry Farrell leaves Knapsack pissing on the wrong tree. Gearing down (as in “Effortless” and “Centennial”) lets a better side emerge, but the album is dismayingly determined to wrong all rights. Inside the nifty silver-foil CD cover, songs like “Addressee” lead nowhere at all.

[Ira Robbins]