Silver Scooter

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SXSW Record Reviews

Silver Scooter

The Blue Law (Peek-a-Boo)

Scott Garred and Silver Scooter are obviously hiding nothing this time out. The refreshing lead cut and single, "Goodbye," is about leaving town. So is the second track, "The Blue Law." Some say the Austin trio might as well have already left town, since bassist John Hunt left the fold after recording this album, the band's third full-length. But for those who haven't already given up on a Scooter model without Hunt's brawny basslines, there are plenty of encouraging signs. That said, this isn't the same Silver Scooter that put out 1997's debut, The Other Palm Springs, a hallmark of angst-riddled desperation and resolution. On The Blue Law, which succeeds where the group's disappointing sophomore effort failed, the bass-propelled Joy Division-like nervous energy has morphed into a New Order-like dense, dreamy atmosphere and renewed commitment to the perfect pop song. Here, band and local producer Dave McNair have fully utilized keyboardist/guitarist and recent addition Shawn Camp on cuts like the swirling "The Long Way," and synth-bleep-adorned "Remembering," which features a drum machine imitating Tom Hudson's solid backbeat. Still, it's the hallmarks of the old Scooter that infuse this album with life -- the "Long Fence"-style thump of "Black Stars," the crashing drum rolls and wailing guitar of "The Lonely Singer," and Hunt's aggressive fretwork on "Terrorism Lover." Enjoy it while it lasts. (Thursday, March 15, Opal Divine's, 9pm)

***

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