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The Disciplines
Smoking Kills
Second Motion Records
www.thedisciplines.com


Made up of three Norwegians and one American, The Disciplines sound more native to Brit-rock's T. Rex and The Kooks than anyone from their homelands. The quartet puts a contemporary finish on classic garage rock tunage for their latest recording Smoking Kills. With meaty guitar chunks flailing about like the embers of a bonfire cradled in form-fitted slings of bass swells, The Disciplines stuff their songs with fever-pitch flurries and soft, smoldering thrusts that show muscle in the band's chord movements. Gristled by steamrolling drum kicks, Smoking Kills has a stylistic flare that is reminiscent of The Blue Van's raw edges and The Redwalls' folksy momentum. The Disciplines generate a communal feel in their songs laden with vintage rock hooks and seared by puncturing drum strikes like Wolfmother. The band plays rock 'n' roll in a pure fashion that is suited to the likes of '70s rockers and inspiring to the musicians of a modern age.

The spirited thrusts in "Yours For The Taking" and "Get It Right" garner an animalistic pulse with rugged guitar shavings that share common traits with The Kooks. The melodic sequencing of "Wrong Lane" is molded with lightly puckered chords sutured to phrases with elongated swells on the declines, while the blazing guitar riffs of "Falling Knives" keep the track elevated and racing at a fever rate. The heady drum kicks in "Hurricane" are smoldering, and the folksy nickeling on "I Got Tired" give the classic rock engineering in the track muscle in its horsepower. The jangly tambourine beats of "No Vacancy" provide an upbeat feel, and the fiery strokes of "Cause Or FX' are laden with vintage rock chops. The one rock ballad "Oslo" has melodic sparks with a candlelit glow that ruminates with a gentle musing about the Norwegian city, but "Best Mistake" brings out the band's most choicest classic rock bites.

The band's lyrics in "Best Mistake" have sexual innuendos that create a flirtatious atmosphere with verses like "Now I want to go where the wild things are… I want to burn my wheels on your hot, black tar / I'm on my way down a road less traveled / I'm on my way to a mystery unraveled / This could be the best mistake / That you ever make / So come on and take my hand, girl / You don't need to be afraid… I want to sink my teeth in the prey that I stalk… When the lights go out / You and I go in where the wild things are."

The lyrics might be geared to attract the ladies, but the garage rock texture and muscle-bound chord movements are loaded with substance that will appeal to guys. Smoking Kills recalls a time when pure rock was cool, and The Disciplines give it a contemporary sheen that makes it attractive.

-Susan Frances

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