• Lazy
  • Some Assembly Required (Roadrunner) 1994 
  • Revolutions per Minute (Roadtrip) 1995 
  • The Lazy Music Group (Roadrunner) 1996 

The elimination of restrictive boy-girl roles from rock has, not surprisingly, done very little to close the real-life gulf between boys and girls. One can only imagine the band discussions that might have preceded the decision to have guitarist Steve Schmoll, the only male member (er…) of Lazy, sing the garagey “Pussy Strut” on the Cincinnati trio’s first album. (Actually, the song is a Cramps-ian cat pun made literal by a refrain of meows, so there was probably no thought given to it at all.) A collection of extraordinarily catchy songs informed by ’70s new wave (in the vein of Richard Hell and Television) but shaped into modern indie-pop derivatives from sweet minimalism to juvie punk to organ/fuzzy retro rock, Some Assembly Required is hindered only by inept singing: Schmoll is artless and barely adequate, while wispy-voiced bassist Suzann Lynch carries tunes like a vertiginous waitress. If memorable originals like “Crush,” “St. Christopher,” “I Tried to Tell You,” “Candy Kiss” and “Come Down” weren’t so intrinsically appealing, their frustrating performances would be no big deal, but the songs truly deserve better.

The eight-song, 10-inch Revolutions per Minute divides the band’s sound into its component parts: genial twee (two girl-centric originals sung with a bit more success by Lynch) and easygoing garage pop (sung by Schmoll, who’s up to the simple task). “Favorite Song” has a trace of Pooh Sticks flavor, but the resemblance of the catchy “Thea’s Really Happening” to the Lemonheads ends with its title. The record’s small-pleasure highlight, however, is a cover of Cupid Car Club’s “Grape Juice Plus.”

Obviously not operating on the same stylistic wavelength as her bandmate, Lynch left after that record. Schmoll and drummer Meghan Haas drafted Kari Murphy and made The Lazy Music Group in ’96.

[Ira Robbins]