Continuing the quality-pop recording streak they began with 1999’s Summertown and extended through Y2K’s The Pity List, the Mayflies USA’s third effort is a fine outing that again emphasizes the kind of crunchy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside melodies favored by folks like the Posies and Velvet Crush. Once more, the band deliver a clutch of the kind of fetching tunes — from the aching longing of "The Greatest Thing" to the gorgeously cascading "Malaysia" — that earn scruffy jangle-pop bands with Chris Stamey/Mitch Easter affiliations the inevitable Big Star comparisons.
Still, this Chapel Hill foursome have a homespun, rustic quality that’s closer to the rootsy Americana of Stamey’s old North Carolina outfit the dB’s than to Big Star’s more Anglophilic leanings — even if tunes like "Ready To Go" and "123" do sound an awful lot like Bandwagonesque-era Teenage Fanclub. Three of the four Mayflies contribute to the songwriting here, and with 12 tracks packed into a brisk 43 minutes, that ensures a minimum of filler and a maximum of high-caliber hooks spangled with stacked harmonies and dovetailing guitars. The band do break with the Stamey/Easter production combo this time out, instead tapping Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev knob twiddler Keith Cleversley, but there’s little convention-skewering studio gimmickry here. As the title implies, the Mayflies continue to walk a straight, familiar line that offers plenty of tuneful stops along the way.