Indie music veteran Ted Leo may be too hip for his own good. The East Coast rocker was retro before it was cool, leading the mod/punk band Chisel from 1990-1997 and paving the way for the rise of newcomers Mooney Suzuki and Delta 72. His next band, the hard-rocking Sin Eaters, was the darling of the New York underground before breaking up after barely two years on the scene.
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Now with his latest project the Pharmacists, Leo's songwriting affinities to Alex Chilton and Elvis Costello are coming out stronger than ever. You know the sound: kind of punky and pop, clever lyrics with plenty of attitude, pleasing melodic hooks, and a bit of Sixties blues-rock chaos for fun. With his latest release, Heart of Oak, he's drawing comparisons with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. Even without the wild hair, it doesn't get much hipper or more retro than that.