Thought Garden

Deep State elicits few comparisons, yet honors the cocksure ebullience, and shambolic thrust of the very best of 1990s indie rock. Borrowing loosely from power pop, psychedelia and shoegazing pedal theatrics, the Athens, Ga., band adds indelible melodies addressed to your head’s pleasure center. Perhaps the quartet’s greatest strength is that their songs are impossible to pin down as anything other than their own. On an album brimming with highlights, Thought Garden’s best tracks include the anthemic punch and hyperactive guitar crunch of “Heavy Lunch” and the hit single (in a perfect world) “Idiot Waster,” with sugary hooks tearing at its melancholic core, plus smart and mysterious lyrics: “You can hitch a ride with an idiot waster / Bullet-hole stickers on the side of his blazer / Hop on in for the last time.” Deep State mines a lavish and varied rock and roll landscape, remembering its forebearers, and brazenly plotting new and heady terrain.