Pell Mell’s on-again, off-again career might have veered out-of-lane again when Geffen dropped the instrumental band before issuing the follow-up to its 1995 label debut, Interstate; luckily, Matador stepped in. Star City may simply have been a lot more languid than the 800-pound gorilla of alt-rock bargained for, but we’ll never know, at least until these guys talk to their fanzines of choice. Interstate itself didn’t exactly pack the wallop of the Mermen or Los Straitjackets, but Star City floats by like clouds on a mesh of clean guitar licks and grooves that should please anyone who dug Love Tractor before it got a drum machine. It’s a record that handily complements the surf, lounge, and space-rock crazes without capitulating to the demands of any of those genres. Lest you get the impression that the music just lies there, it’s worth noting that some of it is actually danceworthy, like the snaky bass line and organ punctuation of “Salvo” (which does fade out too early; how about a remix album?) and the wave-riding “Smokehouse.” At the same time, the disc does get more lovingly arty as it goes, in the way that “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” or, I don’t know, Love and Rockets’ Earth.Sun.Moon does. Star Crazy is perfect for parties, driving, or zoning out in the sun.—Rickey Wright