Leave it to Ted Leo to find his way from "There was a resolution pending on the United Nations floor" (which is how he begins "Bottled in Cork," a highlight from the East Coast punk bard's new release) to "Tell the bartender I think I'm falling in love" (which is how he ends the song three minutes later). Leo has made a mission of blending the personal and the political since his days fronting the great late-'90s mod-pop outfit Chisel, and he continues to do so with undimmed urgency here, on his debut for Matador following stints with Lookout! and Touch and Go.
"The Mighty Sparrow" opens with the unsettling image of café doors exploding; "One Polaroid a Day" wonders what's up with those people who seem more concerned with documenting a moment than living it. Throughout, Leo and his stalwart Pharmacists (who include James Canty of the Make-Up on guitar and keyboards) reflect the singer's unified worldview with hooky, sharp-angled guitar jams that somehow seem catchier the thrashier they get. Chalk up another win for one of the good guys.
TED LEO + OBITS + SCREAMING FEMALES | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | April 10 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $16.50 | thedise.com