For every hundred bedroom guitar heroes, there's a Bryce Avary, the kind of driven kid who doesn't just dream it. Avary recorded an EP at 18, setting the stage for his terrific self-recorded ad -produced debut, Calendar Days, as the Rocket Summer. Channeling the pop impulses of Weezer and Saves the Day, Avary plays all the instruments on his albums and invests them with an irrepressibly hopeful attitude. Working with a producer, Tim O'Heir (Hot Rod Circuit, the All-American Rejects), for the first time on his latest, Hello, Good Friend, Avary may have ceded too much power. The album's airtight sound saps songs of some of their energy, and the overearnest, youthful singing feels more cloying absent the homey charm of its earlier, less overblown production. But like a badly fitting suit, it only disguises Avary's real appeal, derived from his showmanship (he plays with a backing band on tour) and well-written songs something more readily apparent live.
The Rocket Summer plays with HelloGoodbye at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 29, at Ray's Downtown, 519 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Call 561-835-1577.