Beaten Awake – Thunder$troke

January 01, 1970

(Fat Possum)


Jon Finley of Beaten Awake is also in a band called Drummer
with the Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney, who brought this band to Fat
Possum’s attention in the first place. Can you dig it? That’s what Finley wants
to know, if the opening line of the opening song is any indication. And your
answer may depend on the extent to which you’d hoped to hear some Black Keys in
the mix to go with all the Black Keys in the resume when truthfully, they sound
more like the kind of band whose members got together after bonding over
Pavement in the early ‘90s, keeping all the edges nice and scrappy even as the
hooks reach out to snag you.


Assuming this talk of a Pavement reunion results in an
actual Pavement reunion, one could only hope they come up with a song as
Pavementesque as “Gyro Quake,” although the end is more like Built to Spill in Keep It Like A Secret mode. It’s perfect
pop as anti-pop, subverting the hook with defiantly non-commercial touches that
only make it that much more accessible to those who cut their hipster teeth on
indie rock. “Suite Cheetah” does the same, its narcoleptic vocals taking it
easy while the drummer does the heavy lifting. And they’re even better when
they break a sweat on “Mr. Thompson,” whose fuzzed-out guitar solo truly earns
the distinction explosive.


Standout Tracks: “Gyro
Quake,” “Mr. Thompson.” A. WATT


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