For years, the Makers have been doing what everyone else is doing now -- pilfering religiously from Iggy, Pete, and myriad garage rock bands. They're an arena band without the arena, all trashy panache and swaggering bravado but with none of the glory. Mike Maker often tools around Seattle in a souped-up Mustang with black racing stripes. Stripped is kind of like that Mustang. Combining the dirty din of the group's previous work with a bit of the glammy slickness of 2000's Rock Star God, the album slinks and struts around like Mick Jagger on Viagra. The second track pouts and preens to get a "Hot Kiss"; by the fifth track, the Makers are trying to get to third base, this time resorting to an urgent, more punk tempo (but still with that strutting peacock tone). By "Fair Game," they've moved on -- to the Stooges. And that's the moral of this album: With each track, the Makers pursue, conquer, and charge on to the next conquest. Sure, they sound like everybody else, but then again, so does everybody.
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