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Blood on the Wall 

Liferz (The Social Registry)

Wednesday, Feb 6 2008
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From the seething yet soulful din of this Big Apple bent-blues band's third record, it sounds like its members have spent the past three years on tour arguing over highway directions whilst munching on Funyuns and letting out hangover burps. Dropping licks from Roy Head's ol' R&B nugget "Treat Her Right" in the second tune ("The Ditch") implies this brother-sister combo heard the original before a DJ neighbor gave them the James Chance cover version. More saucy implications come from the greasy-fried parts — like the stubbornly sexy guy-gal carping and fat-fuzz riffs — scattered among the songs. Shufflers like "Lightning Song" show the group's post-Velvets-cum–Yo La Tengo indie scrapple, but the more sure-sounding speeders ("GO GO GO," "The X") seem to be the trio's focus now. Brad Shanks' vox, a bit less post-punky pinched than before, still occasionally drowns his desperation with cringingly needy wailing. When Courtney Shanks sings, though, the songs go go-go gritty ("Rize," "Hibernation") and flail like a garage-tethered Celebration. Liferz is at once a throwback to when indie bands still rocked, and a forward step out of lock-step garage rock.

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Eric Davidson

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