The Sights’ newest release Most of What Follows Is True might be their best yet, and that’s saying a mouthful. Despite their relatively young age, these garage/pop/blues rockers have distilled the essence of primal garage inspirations like The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Pretty Things with a modern pop sound (many pull out a Supergrass comparison, and that’s not far off).
Video: “Rock and Roll Circus”
But it’s their versatility that slays me. “Guilty” is raucous, guttural rock’n’roll that intimates more horns that it actually contains. “Maria” is music hall crossed with sixties pop – like The Kinks and Small Faces made careers upon; shit, “Tick Talkies” all but has tap dancing in it. “Take and Take” and “How Do You Sleep” (with traces of “Tin Soldier” DNA in it) mine Freakbeat waters, and “Back To You” and “I Left My Muse“? Americana meets garage.
And can they wail? Oh yeah…”Nose to The Grindstone” closes the album with that 60s/70s FM deep track vibe that is so sorely missed today.
Video: “Nose To The Grindstone“.
The Sights are yet one more underrated American band – and from Detroit, mind you – who deserve much bigger and better things. Now a four piece (Eddie Baranek on guitar and vocals, Dave Lawson on bass and vocals, drummer Skip Denomme and Gordon Smith on guitar, keyboards and vocals), they’ve had a few changes over the years including Bobby Emmett, whose solo album was in my top ten last year. This effort is their first studio album in five years, and it was worth the wait.
All of what follows is true:
- Their albums groove.
- They’re Nugget-y.
- You will play them often and loud.
- I highly recommend you check out their entire catalogue.
Listen to clips at Amazon.
Enlist in The Sights Army
The Sights on MySpace.
Four guys, totally fab.
Sometimes you just need to rock.
Headslide is yet another band project that features Jeff Shelton, best known for his work with power poppers The Well Wishers and The Spinning Jennies. And while both those bands occasionally packed a little more punch than their contemporaries, Headslide adds a lot more crunch to the mix. It’s no accident that the cover image is a four-speaker tube amp.
Listen to clips on Amazon or MySpace
Singer Scott Haney takes the lead here, writing all but one track and topping the mix with chunking rhythm guitar. The songs are short and punchy, instantly toe-tapping. My favorites are heavy-sounding “There Are Monsters” and the clever “MyNumber One” (which refers to both his desired relationship status and a hit single).
Like all of Shelton’s bands, there are echoes of classic rock and powerpop ringers like Cheap Trick, The Who, Superdrag, The Pixies, Supergrass, The Kinks and Sloan. “Figure It Out”, his sole contribution to the set list, is all that in a nutshell.
Watch The Video: “Figure It Out”
A simple two-guitar, bass, drum lineup never gets old; here we have barroom rock in all its glory – pounding 4/4 beats, tight harmonies and short but stinging guitar solos. Headslide has only seven tracks but none are wasted; it’s also available at a very reasonable price. Visit their website for lists of (mostly West Coast) gigs and more information.
Listen to The Well Wishers and Spinning Jennies too!
Filed under Music, Reviews
So...what are the other two Supergrassians doing?
I love tribute albums more than I should, and when a band tosses a well placed cover into their set or onto their own album it can often be a real treat. And while playing the song straight can be reverential, adding your own flavor to the stew can often be far more rewarding. On Turn Ons we get both from The Hot Rats. While that latter name may call to mind one of Frank Zappa‘s greatest albums, it is also what two famous UK pop stars call their fun side project.
Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey of Supergrass have teamed up with producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Travis) for an album of well-chosen covers of some of their favorite artists including The Kinks, Squeeze, The Doors, Gang of Four, Elvis Costello and David Bowie among others. While some of the songs (i.e. the Lou Reed stomper “I Can’t Stand It”) are made for the stripped down thumping, you will be amazed at how they approached songs by The Sex Pistols and The Beastie Boys.
Despite the limited instrumentation, the versatility on the album separates The Hot Rats from the pack of bands flailing to surf the wake of The White Stripes. Simplicity merely repeated gets monotonous, but The Hot Rats wisely employed Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich to add his brush to their canvas, and the result is an exciting and surprising collaboration. At its core it’s brimming with the exuberance and fearlessness of a garage band, and with twelve tracks in just over half an hour, one is left wanting more.
Read my full review in Blurt Online.
And yes - grab this too!
Filed under Music, Reviews