Root for Ruin

Onstage, Tim Harrington looks like an accountant on a rampage: The Les Savy Fav singer is a balding dude fond of stripping half-naked and making out with random audience members. On their fifth album, LSF match Harrington's energy with music that's both melodic and expertly brutal, zipping through punk-inspired shout-alongs about drug-fueled sex ("Lips N' Stuff") and hanging with lowlifes ("Dirty Knails"). Ruin isn't as irresistibly tuneful as 2007's great Let's Stay Friends, but like that album it shows off Harrington's secret weapon: his sensitive side. Harrington's voice takes on a wobbly indie-boy ache in songs like "Dear Crutches," where he begs a lover to "be a hammock for my heart." He's not just a hooligan — he's a hooligan with the soul of a poet.