Philip Taylor is a motherless lamb. Just look at him - big sad eyes, goofy grin, messy hair, slouchy posture. Listen to his songs - all about adolescent trauma ("Homecoming," "Miss American Bookworm"), the pain of not being right for someone ("Jellyfish," "Tulip"), self-doubt ("Christopher Robin," "Boregasm," "Pony"), loss and bereavement (pretty much every other song on the album). This album should be a sink of despair, yet it burns with passion and even optimism. Listening to it, I just want to give the whole band a hug, but in a "share our strength" sort of way rather than out of pity. They just keep on keeping on, and it's beautiful. The jangly guitar, thrashy drums, crackly bass, and even the distorted vocals are comforting rather than jarring. Whatever pain you're in, it doesn't go away, but you feel like you can bear it after listening to this record. You get the feeling that these guys have experienced the bad things life throws at them - abuse, abandonment, loss - and yet they've "turned their woes into sing-alongs." A beautiful, hopeful noise. Check them out.