Garageland

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

Garageland

Do What You Want (Foodchain)

In a place far, far away, a band by the name of Garageland rules the pop charts. That place is New Zealand, where music has always been raw, fresh, and fun. Three years ago, Garageland released Last Exit to Garageland in the States, an album that had already established the Kiwis as the next stars of the storied Flying Nun stable. Last Exit was a cooler-full of supercharged Pixiesesque nuggets, charming little numbers driven by a startling sonic squall. Do What You Want marks a return to the States, and to much of the same magic. At the heart of Garageland -- like classic New Zealanders the Bats, Chills, and Tall Dwarfs -- is a love for pure Sixties-style pop. But unlike their art-damaged brethren, Garageland more often plays it straight, which works in their favor. Do What You Want hits the right chord, particularly when the amps are on overdrive. "Trashcans" maintains an effective degree of separation between song and sound, as the wailing distortion lies low in the background, while frontman Jeremy Eade delivers a classic nugget of misplaced affection, then erupts into a symphony with the treated, Medicine-like roar orchestrated like a theremin or a living string section. "Not Empty" mines the freedom/commitment relationship dichotomy, erupting into a rousing chorus of "I wanna be free, not empty!" A classic singles band. (Friday, March 16, Copper Tank Brew Pub, 1am)

***.5

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