Vocalist Jared Payne can be seen at such local haunts as Scratch 8 or Maui Pizza, working his band like a major-label promotion rep might. His considerable drive and determination have made this five-piece a household name among some considerable local competition—the Revolution Smile, Shortie, Long Drive Home, Tenfold—and Flicker’s latest effort has garnered a considerable buzz in the Sacramento Valley. Shaun Weiss and Scott Simpson form an able guitar duo with an ear for melody. Strict 9 exudes the positive amounts of energy needed to remain competitive. From the swirling chorus of “Label Me” to the fiery “Save Your Breath,” it’s clear that Flicker doesn’t plan on being a Sacramento bar fixture in 2002. Production problems aside—cymbal wash, lack of low end—Strict 9 is a local-scene triumph. SAMMIE committee, take note: It’s the orange CD with the menacing girl on the over. Give it a listen.