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Indie Spins
March 1, 2005
by Michael Walls

Are You Ready To Rock?

This month's Indie Spins finds some strong indie rock bands that may be on the verge of breaking through. From Britain to Boston, you may want to get them before everyone else is listening to them.

The Thieves
The Whiteline (EP) (2005)

Mick and Keith would be proud. Page and Plant would be jealous. Malcolm and Angus will probably want to tour with them. Out of Oxford, England come The Thieves, who re-create rock n’ roll that sounds like it was born in the basement, raised in a pub, and kicked out on the street to fend for itself. With a guitar set to “extra crunchy”, a juiced-up bass and a human drum machine, this music will tear the cover off your inner ear and make you throw out any of your CDs that even smell like art. We’re talking rock, folks. We’re talking about a 4-song sample of the next big thing for old people to complain about. We’re talking about the song “Tales from the Whiteline” – where after two verses, bare-flesh-dragged-over-road-gravel crunchy guitars, and a screaming Hammond organ comes the unspoken question “shall we do a third verse?” The answer: “Hell no! Let’s just burn the place down!” As Bon Scott would ask – “Are you ready to ROCK!”
Links: The Thieves website
Camaro Hair
Far From OK (2005)

Camaro Hair is following the formula that made Remy Zero a household name. Okay…in my household anyway. It’s some melodic guitar mixed with piano highlights, quirky hooks and powerful lead vocals. It’s the type of music that Smashing Pumpkins would be making if they hadn’t imploded or Coldplay if they hadn’t gotten so dramatic. Frontman Brian Sicotte’s Chris Martin-esque vocals drive this music, but it’s the dreamlike, swirling guitars that making it pleasing to the ear. This music is well packaged, radio-ready and instantly appealing. Each track is enjoyable, but for those looking to test drive before buying I’d recommend “Subliminal Tank”, “With No One” and “At My Worst.”
Links: Camaro Hair website
Taxi Doll
Waiting (EP) (2004)

Sometimes electronica music, whether is be techno or trance or club, comes across as soulless machine-generated noise. Sure – you can dance to it, but what if you just feel like listening to it? That’s why I’ve always enjoyed the music of bands like Republica or Garbage. The music’s a bit more emotive, more human. Or maybe it’s just the sexy female vocals.

Taxi Doll is cut from the same mold – female fronted, electronic dance, that rocks. “Rocktronica” is how they describe the music they make. The title track, “Waiting”, is a throbbing, dance floor crowd pleaser, that mixes in guitar hooks and even a rhythm-free bridge, adding the human element. “Look at What You Get” is the “tronica” in “rocktronica” as this song is pure club music, but with Dhana’s ultra-sexy vocals you’ll enjoy choosing between one of the three different mix versions on this CD.

Links: Taxi Doll website
The Sooner It Comes (2004)

Out of Boston comes four kids making rock n’ roll music. Hmm...why does that sentence sound familiar? Because it was probably written for The Pixies, The Del Fuegos, Dinosaur Jr. and countless other rock n’ roll outfits from Boston over the past 30 years. Maybe it’s that dirty water or the abundance of college kids and bars – but a lot of the best music from Boston tends to be that raw, back-to-basics, 3-chord guitar riffs, with catchy lyrics and lots of “yeah, yeahs.”

Aloud fits the Boston profile, but with a step ahead of your typical bar band. Yeah, the chords are something you’d try out if you owned a guitar, but you couldn’t duplicate the interesting vocal style. Principle song writers Jennifer De La Osa and Henry Beguiristain share lead vocal duties, with De La Osa’s style reminiscent of a more alto Crissy Hynde, while Beguiristain has that raspy, smoke-filled, bar room growl. And when they vocally back each other up, it works even better.
Links: Aloud website

(Michael Walls is a volunteer staff writer for 2 Walls Webzine)

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