Don’t mess with grown-up punks.

You’re Goddamn Right, Countless Thousands calls it. A “wink, nod, slide you your favorite drink” kinda “goddamn right”? A Heisenbergian “Say my name” kinda “goddamn right”? A “double backflip off the roof of the garage into a slam-dunk high-five combo perfectly captured and already blowing up online” kinda “goddamn right”?

With these nerds, who knows — but in all likelihood, they’d probably go for however you define awesomeness, which seems to them to be the highest virtue. Los Angeles’ very own punk rockers have put out a second release with a weird, positive mantra as the title (previous album: We’re Just Really Excited to be Here) and continue to back up their theatrical flair with sharp songwriting.

What’s new to these guys, however, are the hooks. Going from 15 tracks on their previous release to a focused six has seen them dial in a new sense of catchiness. Punch in “Gang Fight,” a lead-pipe-swinging punk rock basher that sounds like Rancid was dropped into a performance of West Side Story, and holler along with that growling, badass hook.

Take a left turn from there to the little romantic comedy that is the doo-wop-inspired “Webster’s Dictionary Defines Marriage As,” and enjoy its soaring, badass hook. Then, completely different is “Only Child,” a genuinely angry, country-ish punk song centered around the line, “My sister is an asshole,” which, in its part, is delivered as a gritty, badass hook.

By the way I’m talking of these boys, you best believe they really are badass.

Lyricism and storytelling have always taken a front seat with Countless Thousands, but in a welcome display of evolution, they’ve got hooks now, running a pop sensibility through the middle of all that punk and jazz and flash and pizzazz. Punk fans, pop fans, rock fans, take note: these self-identified dweebs are on the upswing.

They’re playing this week at Angel City Brewery…let’s rock!

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Countless Thousands