Sound Of San Francisco / Various


aec.avr50.2 9/16/03 New
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    Sound Of San Francisco / Various Alive Records

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Review Text Another year, another scene, another resetting of the rock/soul/garage/R&B clock to year zero, and let's see what happens. So if every generation gets the Cramps or the White Stripes or whatever it deserves, then there are all the other bands along the same lines -- or else vaguely fellow travelers -- out there as well. Thus Alive Records' boss, Patrick Boissel, finding a whole crop of folks to record up in San Francisco circa 2003 presents his new generation of finds here. To be fair, the bands here aren't all trying to be Meg and Jack White, by any stretch of the imagination, and unlike any number of garage fetishists of recent years, just about all the groups are fine with sounding downright radio friendly in a big, expansive way. Maybe in an early-'80s, new wave sense, possibly the secret to what's here -- if New York has gone no wave again, then the Bay Area seems open to the idea of revamping skinny-tie sounds of a different sort, and songs like Mon Frere's "Hello" are most of the way there already. The female vocalist for Boyskout, on "Secrets" and "School of Etiquette" sounds like she could be a cousin of Romeo Void, for instance, while the soulful turn of the singer on Big Midnight is a welcome touch in context. They're actually, generally, a better listen than a slew of the male singers, frankly, who tend to have a strained, hiccupy approach, or else are too dedicated to calling attention to themselves instead of to their respective bands. Musically, a fair amount of the members could probably switch off without much of a hitch, but there are definite moments of individual flair : the compressed snarl of the Coachwhips' "The Alarm"; the dark, swaggering shuffle of the Hotwire Titans' "Thieves and Fakes"; the Low Flying Owls' moody art/psych/goth "Thieves for Hire." Like all samplers, it's a mix of promise and timekilling, but some folks may yet go on to something more. ~ Ned Raggett

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Beauty of the Bitch - 2:15
  2. 2. Alarm - 1:21
  3. 3. Secrets - 2:23
  4. 4. Lost in the Music - 4:30
  5. 5. Thieves and Fakes - 3:41
  6. 6. Bushmills - 2:27
  7. 7. Thieves for Hire - 6:17
  8. 8. Push on You - 4:26
  9. 9. Sister Temptation - 3:25
  10. 10. Fail Hard to Regain - 4:31
  11. 11. Cryin' Shame - 3:44
  12. 12. Hello - 3:40
  13. 13. Va Va Voom - 3:48
  14. 14. School of Etiquette - 3:40
  15. 15. Sniff - 2:15
  16. 16. Lucky 7 - 3:38
  17. 17. While You Was Away - 3:43

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