The L.A. quintet Rooney has not exactly suffered from its Hollywood-style connections or good looks. Frontman Robert Schwartzman is the brother of actor (and occasional rocker) Jason. (This also makes him son of producer Jack Schwartzman and part of the extended Coppola clan that includes his mother, Talia Shire, uncle Francis Ford Coppola, and cousins Sofia Coppola and Nicholas Cage.) Schwartzman himself, in fact, is a sometime-actor, having appeared as a gentle heartthrob in flicks like The Virgin Suicides and The Princess Diaries. All of this has to have helped land Rooney a few key pop-cultural nods in recent years, notably a 2004 slot on the soundtrack (and later appearance in an episode) of The O.C. and tours with the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Jonas Brothers. However, Rooney is no saccharine pop tart. Playing together for almost a decade now, the band members possess tightly honed musical chops and an innate knack for catchy rock songs with sticking power and just enough substance. The band cites the likes of ELO, the Beach Boys, Teenage Fanclub, even the Raspberries and the Buzzocks as influences, and for once, it's not off. Rooney has mastered that vein of buoyant power pop, played with fuzzy aplomb and sung from a romantic but slightly intellectual sensibility.
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