|Camaro Hair: Rye Coalition's 2003 magnum opus|
So here are a couple of them, starting with Jersey Girls from Rye Coalition, a band that previous to this record, I had actually liked. They made some wonderful noisy post-hardcore in the 1990s, even teaming up with the almighty Karp for a split EP, before going full butt rock for the 21st century. I guess Dave Grohl produced one of their final recordings. Never heard it; can't say I was interested after subjecting my ears to Jersey Girls.
The second review covers an album by the New Zealand neo-garage rock band D4. Who, you ask? Yeah, I don't remember either.
Rye Coalition Jersey Girls (Tiger Style CD-EP) Two Stars
Modern, retro-minded bands typically celebrate and revisit banner rock years like 1977 or 1967, but not, say, 1981. Until now. On its new EP, New York’s Rye Coalition erects a rousing, albeit cheeky, tribute to the year of feathered mullets, combs in back pockets, and white Pony high-tops. From the CD’s cover art—an airbrushed mural of a cherry-red Camaro caressed by a bikini-clad vixen—to the sleazy anthems that bookend it, “Jersey Girls” is Rye Coalition’s campaign to put the cock back into rock. Some songs show Rye Coalition toying with a volatile mixture AC/DC and Jesus Lizard, but mostly this EP serves as a tribute to guilty pleasures and self-parody. –Joe Ehrbar
The D4 6Twenty (Flying Nun/Infectious) Two Stars
Were it not for the Swedish Invasion or America’s so-called rock revival, the D4 wouldn’t arouse much interest outside the dingy bars of its native New Zealand. But garage rock is this week’s flavor, and as such second-rate bands like the D4 are getting first-rate hype. To be fair, the D4 is a solid combo; its live show as intoxicating as a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. And while the quartet’s 6Twenty wields righteous rumblers in the lusty “Ladies Man” and the barn-storming “Invader Ace,” too often it sounds derivative and cliché. Stacked next to albums by the Hives or White Stripe, 6Twenty lacks the spark, charisma, imagination, or even balls to get the job done. Is it any wonder the album’s fifth track is titled “Running on Empty”? –Joe Ehrbar