Let's face it. The world of independent music isn't exactly famous for it's commitment to quality. The whole scene, in fact, is characterized by laconic, half-assed 'slacker charm' (which, truth be told, has grown a whole lot less charming since 1992). So it's both remarkable and refreshing to discover a group like Philly's own Shellito--accent on the first syllable, please--a group for whom water-treading and laurel-resting are decidedly out of the question. Worlds removed from both the three-chord yawners and Brian Wilson retro-fits that remain the ruling orders of the day, Shellito's second outing, Ingredients (Birtha), is a winsome, meticulously crafted collection of guitar-based, slice-of-life pop. Over taut strums and hairpin time changes, Mike Shellito delivers a flurry of images ranging from the Waltons in Surround Sound to kissing in the shower to 'a diet soft drinker who never cries.' The band manages to be smart without being smarmy, writing songs for people who still pay attention to the words. 'Virgo Torpedo' is a laundry list of juxtapositions delivered in falsetto over ringing guitar and subtle electronics; 'All Right' is a soft, sunny ballad, Mike Shellito's ether-light voice lending odd grace to a young girl's disconcerting ambivalence. The meaning is as much between the words as in them, Shellito sly-winking through lyrics like, 'I don't care about beautiful music/ Or writing a song with something to say/ Nobody listens ...' It's as much a lament as it is a dare to up the ante. J. Edward Keyes -The Philadelphia Weekly.