Tag Archive: garage rock

Garage/fuzz rock group The Quiet Americans placed Jay Reatard’s Blood Visions at the top spot on their “Top 10 Albums of the 00’s” list. Other albums on the list include Dinosaur Jr.’s Beyond and Ty Segalls Melted.  With those influences in mind, it should be easy to form an idea as to what The Quiet Americans sound like (hint: it’s the opposite of one of the words in their name, and they’re from California).  But the band excels beyond the sound of popular 80s lo-fi indie artists that so many modern groups attempt to recreate.  The Quiet Americans make intricate, catchy garage pop and then mask those pop sensibilities in a thick, double-coated layer of distortion.  The result is an impenetrable wall of lo-fi noise with melodies just barely creeping through— raw but refined, scrappy but not sloppy.  What the Black Keys might sound like if your grandmother didn’t love them.

….not much.  Both are garage-rock/punk bands.  Both are from Brooklyn.  Both were introduced to me today (The Men via the A.V. Club’s punk/metal section Loud’s “best of 2011” list, The Babies (and a reconfirmation of The Men) via Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus’s twitter)).  Both are awesome.

The Men

I thought I had put the finishing touches on my soon-to-be-posted “Top 50 Albums of 2011” article tonight, but then The Men’s Leave Home just HAD to come along.  I guess that should serve as a reminder that there are always albums out there for people to discover, but I think I’ll have to hold off a few days before finalizing my list.  I’ve gotta let this album sink in.

Especially for a band that’s known for raucous garage rock, releasing a song driven by piano can create some judgmental reactions.  Despite a long existence as the “gateway drug” of musical instruments, the piano is not exactly the most badass noisemaker in the market.  It’s either used sparingly for a band’s ballads or it’s overused and mocked, as the case has been for many failed Billy Joel and Elton John imitators.

In the recently released video for “Me and You,” however, scrappy garage group Strange Boys make piano cool again.  They accomplish this through overt, in-your-face repetitive dedication to the instrument.

News swept around the web this week that garage rock revival heroes The White Stripes had finally broken up. Many took the news lightly, shrugging it off as a shameless PR stunt. Those nay-sayers have a point; the band’s last album, Icky Thump, was released in 2007 and their recent announcement is likely to cause a not-so-coincidental surge in the band’s album sales. And it’s not like we won’t be seeing more of Jack White in his several successful side projects.