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AM
Francophiles And Skinny Ties
AM Meyhem Records
www.amtheband.com


Sometimes music can be broken down into mathematical equations. Not only in the sublime sense that Johann Sebastian Bach worked with ascending and conversely descending scales, but also in more primal ways. Take AM for instance. I could break this review down into a description that was something of this sort: The Strokes - ridiculous New York attitude + Dr. Atmo's Lights style grooves + White Stripes musicality - White Stripes attitude - over exaggerated garage band style crap = AM. Simple mathematics, really.

"Life For Sale" kicks off these 8 songs in high energy, rock mayhem style - complete with the album title mantra "Francophiles and skinny ties…" Drawing more from The Jam than from NY's newest and hippest for "InTheCity", AM slows things down a bit and adds a large amount of pure musicianship that is sometimes lacking from their peers' garage heavy sludge rock. "Sex N Drugs" is more English sounding than a lot of newer English bands, and belies AM's Brooklyn roots. More English again on "King Cobra", I really begin to question the Francophiles comments and wonder where they grabbed on to that. The NYC experimentalism comes through just a bit on the minute thirty-three of "Far Fall". It's brimming with noisy guitars and a strange shipwreck drumbeat, all married up nicely over some very groovy-in-a-twisted-sense bass line. Talking Heads, anyone? The production on these songs is clean and bright, every instrument distinctly holding it's own in the overall sound of the record. And unfortunately, the record is over before you realize it, leaving the yearning for more of this new style garage rock - the kind of brilliant rock that will finally make the Swedes stand up and once again take notice of the USA.

If there was to be a street battle for the heart of NYC between The Strokes and AM, my bet would most definitely be on AM. Rock it out, New York cats!

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Life For Sale
2. InTheCity (NYC)
3. Sex N Drugs
4. Monster Heart
5. King Cobra
6. Far Fall
7. Quiet N Dayglo
8. Bloodshot


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Mike Doughty



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