Any fan of Cheap Trick, the Replacements, and a few older stars of the British Invasion will revel in Hourly, Daily, a conceptual piece that is obsessed with the past but without retro trappings. Singer/guitarist Tim Rogers laces together complex ideas with a narrative that transforms the pain of growing up artistic and male in Australia into a weird rock & roll existentialism. Examinations of socially distorted animal fright (like "Please Don't Ask Me to Smile") are told during lonely bus rides and alcoholic meditations. Impressively, the coded messages are never overbearing, as many songs (the opening title track, for instance) are immediately attractive pop numbers that can survive by their melodies. After repeated listening, the lyrics then blur into a naked prose that's rich and almost distracting. When the narrator lifts his eyes from the cracks in the pavement ("Wally Raffles," "Baby Clothes"), the pop surprise is almost euphoric.