Yellow Fever, Dirty Noises, Basin Alders, Always Already, and Hellow Lovers
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Feb. 2, 2007
Yellow Fever was destined for great sounds from its pedigree alone: Bassist Isabel Martin spent time in the much-missed Teenage Dog, guitarist Jennifer Moore moonlights in the Carrots and Voxtrot, and Adam Jones used to drum for Basic. The local trio's debut EP is seven perfect, bare-bones pop songs, Martin and Moore's harmonies sounding like a fourth instrument on the fantastic "Donovan," about the psychedelic folkie, and the adorable "Donald." YF have early Sixties/Nineties pop down, Detroit vs. Olympia, with a little humor thrown in ("iMac"). Infectious. Equally heavy on the early-Nineties vibe, local duo the Dirty Noises pop their Green Cherry, a debut mishmash of fuzz guitar, pedal steel, and warped pop that skirts cohesion in five songs, a fact underscored by liner notes chronicling the recording. Basin Alders' debut, Bad People, borrows at bit from the whiskey and sawdust of 16 Horsepower, equally uncomfortable and hypnotic. The sprawling "Odessa, TX" could be a gem with a little less vocal preening, but it's still a promising shot from the saloon. Power trio the Always Already has been packing local dance floors with its post-punk panic, and last fall's eponymous debut is a nice attack. "T.I.A." sounds almost Oingo Boingo at the beginning, before snaky basslines and yelped vocals scream Eighties house party. The similarities between the theatrical leaps of singer/pianist J.C. King and Antony Hegarty cannot be denied, yet the accordion, piano, cello, and violin fit on Hello Lovers' debut Vanity Fair (Inchworm) is thrown without histrionics. The band likens the songs to Negro spirituals, King's vibrato the guide through seven lush, lonely songs that owe something to the Delta but wouldn't be out of place in a Berlin cabaret.