Not all playgrounds have monkey bars -- just ask the Mesmers, a three piece rock band from the suburbs of Washington DC. For the last two years they've perfected their retro-mod sound in their very own Gimlet Studios, a sonic jungle gym of glowing dials, gleaming microphones, and the occasional toy robot. The result is a self-titled album with a sound somewhere between The Doors and Beck, and peppered with breakbeat rhythms ala The Roots, It's vintage rock-n-roll that shimmers with modern sensibilities. It's what a P.T. Cruiser or the revamped Mini Cooper would sound like if they were pieces of music. According to The Mesmers singer/bassist, Fitz: 'Our goal was a stark contrast of vintage and modern textures. Film noir meets the Matrix, or maybe, the Ramones playing in the movie Dark City.' With the CD now released the band is gearing up for a major promotions push with touring, publicity events, and an extensive Web site. The band not only wrote, recorded and produced their first album, but also fields all it own graphics, Web design, promotion, and bookings. Such diverse duties might dilute the efforts of some bands, but not the Mesmers. Their obsession remains writing top-notch songs destined to be covered by other artists, giving them compelling performances, and wrapping them in hypnotic hi-tech/lo-fi textures. In such a busy playground, who'd have time for monkey bars anyway?