Nothing’s Not Worth Knowing (Independent)
Sorry, kids. This isn’t for you. China Syndrome is rock ’n’ roll made by and for guys of “a certain age”. (Full disclosure: I am of that age myself.) If your biggest dilemma when Friday night rolls around is whether you should spend it at the Biltmore or the Waldorf, you probably won’t be able to relate to the opening track on China Syndrome’s sophomore album, Nothing’s Not Worth Knowing. “Let’s Stay at Home and Let It All Hang Out” finds frontman Tim Chan conceding that sometimes you need to abandon all hope of leaving the house after dark, since all your friends have kids to look after and no time left for fun.
Other songs address the challenges of balancing online social networking with real-life human contact (“Falling Behind”) and the frustration of falling short at work (“Apropos of Nothing”). If all that, combined with a no-frills approach to four-chord power pop, places China Syndrome squarely in the category of dad rock, then so be it. It’s certainly not without its charms, including the acid-etched psych-rock lead guitar on “Lost in the Bay”, and the XTC–inspired melodies of “You’ll Get Me Back”. All in all, it’s not bad—for a bunch of old dudes.