DM3: One Time, Two Times, Three Red Light (1993)
Mariani's first band, The Stems, released a few solid albums in the 80s, pure 60s garage band revivalism with killer pop hooks. In the 90s, after a one-off with the wonderful jangle-pop band The Someloves, he reappeared leading the DM Three (later the DM3), and has released a slew of fantastic power pop albums under that moniker. (Mariani has also released albums with various other configurations, like the edgier psychedelic outfit Datura4, a revived Stems, and under his own name; for a sweeping overview of his work, track down the compilation Popsided Guitar).
While such a large body of work can be intimidating for newbies, the DM3's 1993 debut is a pretty ideal starting point--chiming, jangly power pop, with production courtesy of the legendary Mitch Easter (who produced early albums by R.E.M., Game Theory, and a million other bands, as well as helming Let's Active). The album is chock full of tunes fighting their way onto your latest party mixtape.
Opener "Like This" sets the template -- infectious guitar hooks out of the Pete Townshend playbook, ferocious energy, sing-along choruses, etc. "Foolish" lets up not a bit, striking Tommy Keene-styled guitar pop-rock. Skip ahead and you've got the insanely joyous "1 Time, 2 Times Devastated," the greatest #1 power pop song you've never heard. But it's pretty much all great.
As I said, this is merely the entry point, and it's hard not to head down the rabbit hole to see what other Mariani-related records grab you. Dig into your wallet, folks.
Here's an audio rip of "Like This":