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The Wee Turtles

Isn't rock and roll supposed to be about a bunch of kids having a good time with their instruments? Well, that's the premise that guides The Wee Turtles, a quirky, supremely catchy four-piece from surprise, surprise -- Athens, Georgia, home of such other catchy, quirky acts as Of Montreal, The Olivia Tremor Control, and Neutral Milk Hotel. Unlike those bands, however, The Wee Turtles are not members of the infamous Elephant 6 Recording Company collective, though you might think otherwise from their name, cover art, and relentlessly upbeat fuzzy pop tunes.

Like San Francisco-based E6 act Beulah, The Wee Turtles draw obvious inspiration from classic pop records like the Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society and the Beach Boys Pet Sounds. But then they throw in the kind of lo-fi, trebly pop looseness that has made Guided by Voices such a delight. This band obviously doesn't take much seriously, and they encourage you to do the same. If songs like "Playtime at Castle Greyskull," featuring guest vocals from Skeletor (He-Man's nemesis, remember?), don't bring a smile to your face, we can only assume that a stroke or some other tragic trauma has left your smiling muscles incapacitated.

That song comes from The Wee Turtles' debut full-length This Land Is Your Land (Pitch-A-Tent Records), as do the two featured tracks, "If You Ain't a Pilot..." and "Why the Bombers?" If you've been feeling down lately, a healthy dose of The Wee Turtles' sunny ba-ba-ba choruses, perfect guitar hooks, and sweetly sarcastic energy are all you need to start feeling cheerful again.