Misguided review

After reading a misguided review last month, I wrote Electrelane off as a Stereolab knock-off. Strange, because that usually gets me curious about a band. But their new album The Power Out is anything but imitation. Sure, you can hear Laetitia Sadler in Verity Susman's vocals - with the requisite French - and the Farfisa grooves are straight out of Mars Audiac Quintet. But then you also hear Susman's voice reaching for the edges, crooning one moment and yelping the next. (And hitting three other languages along the way.)

With the angular guitars, the squawking sax solo, the twisting melodies and taut rhythms, they bring a fresh punk edge to the Krautrock grooves. (Steve Albini produced the album.) And then there's a curveball like the stunning, haunting "The Valleys" and its 12 person choir. You get the sense Electrelane had no shortage of ideas and actually pulled them all off. Apparently their first record was mainly instrumental, which makes this one even more impressive. I wish the new Stereolab sounded like this.

They'll be stateside this spring - can't wait.

The Hives! Yeah! Hives, Yeah!

Sorry, I'm a little out of control today. I guess I'm still in shock about Adriana getting whacked on last night's Sopranos. Anyway, back on topic. Yes, The Hives. Check out the Upcoming section of this page (it's on the left). Scroll down to July 21/22. Who's playing two shows at Irving Plaza? Yes, The Hives. It's time to dust off the white buck shoes, skinny ties and Swedish accent.

Tickets go on sale June 5th. That's next Saturday. Opening the shows are Sahara Hotnights and Reigning Sound.

July is going to be an amazing month for concerts. Say goodbye to my savings. Goodbye.