On their memorable debut album, SoCal pop-punk kids Something Corporate play charming post-teen love songs with a commercial-rock grandeur thatís ambitious beyond their years. Singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon is a talented pop pianist with a jones for both Elton John (long-time Rocket Man collaborator Paul Buckmaster contributed the discís plentiful string arrangements) and modern rock (hence the presence of Incubus/Hoobastank producer Jim Wirt). On " I Woke Up in a Car, " he earns his emo stripes by reeling off the names of unglam all-ages-tour stops like Rockford and Poughkeepsie as he pines for a romantic pen pal. He achieves a similar poignance on " Punk Rock Princess " and " Drunk Girl, " both of which let the guitars carry most of the instrumental weight. Guitarist Josh Partington doubles as the bandís second songwriter; on " Hurricane, " his style is more introspective and harder-hitting than McMahonís. Not all the discís 14 tracks find the mark, especially not the birdbrained locker-room-spat-turned-semi-hit " If You C Jordan. " But Something Corporateís performance is as energetic as it is nuanced, and the two songwriters seem likely to improve with age.
(Something Corporate perform on the Warped Tour next Thursday, August 15, at Suffolk Downs. Call 617- 567-3900.)