Neva Dinova is grumpy and sad but can write some really great songs. Spearheaded by Omaha, Neb.

Neva Dinova is grumpy and sad but can write some really great songs. Spearheaded by Omaha, Neb., native Jake Bellows, the group can claim to be one of the few bands from the Cornhusker State to have a first-degree connection to the act Bright Eyes without actually being on the Saddle Creek label. But Neva Dinova might as well be: The moodiness and sallow skin of "The Hate Yourself Change" fits narrowly into Saddle Creek's history of emotionally charged releases. However, it stands out as a skewed and sour batch of raw guitars and prose about apathy, self-deprecation and bursts of sarcasm. Sound too heavy? Fear not. Neva Dinova's lazy vocals and gut-kicking songwriting has its sunny melodies, but even its generally sore temperament is a most-welcome mean streak.—KH

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