The Afters have a knack for writing tremendously catchy hooks. The Germans have a term for this phenomenon: “Ohrwurm,” which translates as “ear worm.” The Afters are set to wiggle their way into your psyche until you sing their songs in your sleep.

On their sophomore release Never Going Back to OK, their musical talent is apparent. Vocalist Josh Havens’ stellar lilting voice soars, and the music is polished to perfection.

Unfortunately there’s a certain substance missing in these tracks, providing too many lyric-induced cringe-worthy moments. Laced with too many clichés, you can almost predict the next line with little effort.

Luckily for this band, there are enough strong tunes to propel the album. “Never Going Back to OK,” “We Are the Sound,” “Summer Again” and “Forty-Two” promise to win the band success within the swooning chick scene, if they can be forgiven for that MySpace song (“MySpace Girl”), that is.

Grade: B

Never Going Back to OK is currently available.