by Michael Walls
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 Whiteline (EP) (2005)
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!”
Far From OK (2005)
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.”
Waiting (EP) (2004)
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.
The Sooner It Comes (2004)
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.”
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.
Walls is a volunteer staff writer for 2 Walls Webzine)