September 21, 2006

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Favourite Sons, Down Beside Your Beauty
Vice/Atlantic Records, 2006

Vegas-indie scenester-stroking with a buffoonish side that saves it from doom and even makes up for some of the mistakes made by its ancestors. Rollerskate Skinny’s Ken Griffin shoots back an Art Brut answer to the problems arising from all the Iggy imposters fondling mikes at TVT-o-rama nights nationwide as he deadpans lines like “It makes me want to tear the room apart when I think of you dying” in a Jim Morrison baritone wielding all the emotional clout of a jock extra in Heathers, but that’s nothing compared to the pie-in-the-face singalong lines in “Girls and Pistols” (“We have blood in our veins to keep us all alive”). Music-wise it’s a production-line pastiche of Gang of Four, Calexico and Constantines with honest stabs at Boy filler, at its most effective when it’s ignoring Griffin’s mercurial efforts to ape Zappa. Of course, if this was all intended to be serious, the editors regret the error. B

— Eric W. Saeger