As a pivotal figure in getting the New York anti-folk scene up and running, singer/guitarist/pianist Lach was evidently too busy being an impresario to make a record until most of his friends had taken their vinyl shots. Contender has no problem dispensing with acoustic guitar formalism; as produced by Tom Goodkind of the Washington Squares, the album employs a nimble rhythm section and mild electric backing, giving the central acoustic strums a rich and strong setting. (“Hard Time” and “Steven Said” break on through to overt rock.) Lach hasn’t got much of a voice, and his tunes don’t exactly send you home humming, but he’s an enthusiastic character who brings more imagination to faux-folk than many of his better known peers. Best song: “The Edie Effect,” a wry attack on Warholian poseurs.