December 09, 1996 12:00 PM

The Presidents of the United States of America

Some bands use their music to make this a better world. But Seattle’s chief executives of rock and roll are perfectly content to crank out playful power-pop tunes about the secret life of insects (“Bug City”) and a dancing amphibian (“Froggie”).

This isn’t one of those collections of jokey song parodies that you listen to once and then file away with your old “Weird Al” Yankovic CDs. Rather, as they did on their debut effort last year, the Presidents temper their humorously bizarre choices for song subjects with some serious musicianship. Take the pure power of Nirvana, the speed of the Ramones and the acoustic snap of the Violent Femmes, and you have the Presidents, a band that revels in its role on rock’s oddball fringe. (Columbia)

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