The Muggs

On with the Show

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Plenty of young Midwestern bands like to name-check the big names of the glorious Detroit rock scene of the late '60s and early '70s (in particular the MC5 and the Stooges) when they want their roster of influences to sound cool. But the Muggs are one of the few Motor City bands of the mew millennium that sound like they wouldn't get booed off the stage at the Grande Ballroom, and their balls-out pure-beef bluesy hard rock struts loud, proud, and sweaty on their second album, On with the Show. Like the Black Crowes, the Muggs make no apologies for their retro influences, but unlike Chris Robinson's crew this band has drawn inspiration from a number of sources and learned to fuse them into something that has a personality of its own, and they can also kick like a mule when Danny Methric's guitar, Matt Rost's drums, and Tony Denardo's bass lock into a heavy groove. The Muggs also stare into the psychedelic void for a few heady moments on the title track, cool out with an effective slow blues jam on "Curbside Constellation Blues," and crank like Led Zeppelin's lost cousins from the Motor City on the furious "Get It On," and from front to back this is tough and well-crafted hard rock with energy, lots of guitar firepower, and no ironic gestures. You better believe it's a compliment when I say that you can play On with the Show back to back with Rock and Roll Music by the Frost and it sounds right at home; the Muggs are a real rock band in a time when pretenders rule the roost, and anyone wanting some jams kicked out will find them right here.

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