December 18, 2008

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Gringo Star, All Yall
My Anxious Mouth Records, Nov. 14

A random burst of enthusiasm on the part of a CMJ writer propelled this Atlanta foursome into, you know, CMJ-likes-us buzz-dom. But anyway, any group of fops in stupid ’60s sunglasses and distantly related attire can try sounding like Strokes sounding more like a latter-day Kinks than the Strokes, but that does, let us not forget, require a little bit of catchiness. In other words this album doesn’t suck by a long shot, at least musically; somewhere in some obscure sub-paragraph of the rulebook it’s dictated that if something has a good beat and you can dance to it it’s at least worth something, and in this case the title track boots the record up in fine “All Day All of the Night” fashion, exhibitive of a quicker pulse than most Strokes clones could raise for themselves if they were surrounded by Abercrombie models. “Ask Me Why” follows this up with Strokes vs. Johnny Cash spaghetti, and the balance forward is pop-n-roll shapeshifting, with Byrds-like things (“Up and Down”), a whiff of “Hey Hey My My” anti-guitar-god bluster (“Transmission”), etc. BEric W. Saeger