Blood On The Wall, Liferz

Keith Harris

By Keith Harris

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Brooklyn trio hammers out the heavenly sound of the past.

With even Balkan electronica now buzzworthy (and rightly so), it's confirmed that indie rock can forge a trend out of any stylistic hash. But perhaps no less trendy band could emerge from contemporary Brooklyn — Williamsburg, no less — than these inveterate '90s throwbacks. The low-bottomed plod of the chick bass player, who sometimes sings. The ever-so-slightly mistuned rhythm strum of the guitarist, who usually sings. The propulsively funkless thump of the drummer, who never sings. Yes, this is the sound of untucked shirts and broken E-strings that was minted way back when "college rock" was the slightly dismissive catchall term for "kids with guitars" that "emo" is today, and the playful, unruly spazz-outs of the Shanks siblings is refreshingly ordinary. Brother Brad keens like a Frank Black who's had it up to here, sister Courtney moans like a Kim Gordon who's come back down to earth, and both voices are so submerged beneath roiling guitars you could mistake their lyrics from gnomic until phrases like "I don't want to talk about what I did last night" or "Turn around and shut up!" bob up to the surface. As for the guitar making all that noise, it's got a style all its own, whether feeding back out of Brad's control on "The Ditch" or launching into an awesome squeaky, squally solo on "Junkiee…Julie…"