Austin, Texas is a music town where everyone masters the basics better than most just to succeed. Austin's Grand Champeen takes those hometown lessons to heart, crafting energetic, straightforward tunes with a plan of attack that is direct and upfront.

The group's fourth full-length, Dial T for This, extends the band's undertow of Minneapolis alt-rock (Soul Asylum, the Replacements), resolute roots rock (Neil Young, Son Volt) and classic British pop (the Beatles) into a hook-entrenched tidal wave best heard at maximum volume.

Songs are the star attraction, from rollicking “Different Sort of Story” (hard-earned advice: don't dance with another man's woman) to cynically upbeat “Gonna Be the Death of Me.” The centerpiece is “Wounded Eye,” about passion expressed at the wrong time, with the catchy refrain, “Don't litter me with your love.”

Throughout the record, piano, horns and strings add color and strengthen the melodic sense. Dial T for This shows Grand Champeen playing at their peak and growing into a sound of their own.

Grade: B