irrepressible enthusiasm finds them trolling the same environs as the Strokes, the
Arctic Monkeys, the Kooks, and, yes, even the early Kinks. Little wonder then
that this bold, brash combo serves as Ray Davies’ back-up band for his solo
tours. Now based in New York,
these former school chums from Madison Wisconsin deliver a boisterous shout-out
that’s conveyed with a swagger, a swoon, and an unhinged exuberance that elevates
the proceedings well beyond any standard melodic constraints. Take, for
example, the riveting refrains of “Darling, It’s True,” the shout-out chorus of
“Love You Too,” the eager insistence of “All Over Again,” or, for that matter,
the Springsteen-like authority of “21st Century.” Each of these songs
affirm that celebratory style.
rather ironic then that on “Oh, Wisconsin!,” one of the album’s most assertive
anthems, the band declares, “I like my music soft and sweet/Just like the girls
I like to meet…” Given their chugging rhythms, clap-along choruses and
all-around bravado, they hardly fit the mindset of your typical softy or slacker.
Ultimately, this self-titled disc provides
a terrific come-on, even if it leaves their listeners dizzy from its dynamic.
DOWNLOAD: “Darling, It’s
True,” “21st Century,” “Love You Too” LEE ZIMMERMAN