You know hard rock fans are starved for something good (or even competent) when a band like this gets so much praise. It's a pretty good album, but it's also so derivative, you wonder why every garage band in the country doesn't have a recording contract. The guys next door play this stuff every Friday night. Where's their major label debut? I don't know about the Fugazi comparisons, but I've heard enough Sonic Youth to recognize the style --- dramatic, distorted guitar noise with the sensitive/smart vocals on top. It's an effective recipe if you want it both ways. You get to be a progressive band and a loud band at the same time. You rock, but you aren't dumb. Hey, no wonder they stole the blueprint.
The only really good song on this album is Baudelaire. It's based on a single, descending guitar riff. But it's a perfect riff, right up there with the best of AC/DC and Kiss. (Of course, they overproduced the song and made sure the lyrics were vaguely intellectual, so if you who don't like the stupid/fun of Kiss and AC/DC, you'll still like this.) The first song is pretty good, too, but it's all in the dynamics, which I've already heard over and over by everyone from Nirvana to Godspeed You Black Emperor.
This is a solid 3-star album because it's loud and just eccentric enough to be interesting about half the time. I should drop a few more stars for the horrible band name and the ugly CD booklet, but I'm a very nice person. Hopefully, this band will develop into something more original. They can look back at this as their Sonic-Youth-rip-off album and laugh.