The Blam

The Blam

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The more things change and evolve in rock, the more they inevitably stay the same. The success of the Strokes in 2002 reminded us that there is still a place for young bands with a neo-garage/power pop outlook -- bands that are rockin' yet melodic and tuneful, bands that are punky but still know the value of an effective hook. Because the Blam are from Brooklyn, NY and favor a neo-garage approach, this self-titled debut album will no doubt be compared to the Strokes and similar NYC bands of the early 2000s. But the Blam have an appealing energy of their own even though they share some of the Strokes' influences. A variety of '60s and '70s influences assert themselves on this CD, and they are British (the Beatles, David Bowie, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones) as well as American (the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed). There are hints of Bob Dylan in some of Jerry Adler's lead vocals, although the Blam aren't folk-rock. Despite all the '60s and early-'70s influences one hears on infectious tracks like "8546" and "Brooklyn on My Mind," the Blam aren't an exact replica of the garage and power pop artists of that era. Punk is also an influence, but not punk in the Black Flag or Dead Kennedys sense -- rather, Adler and his colleagues get some inspiration from punk's more poppy side and show an awareness of punk-pop combos like the Buzzcocks and Generation X (the late-'70s band that Billy Idol sang lead for before he launched a solo career). So when all is said and done, the Blam's debut doesn't sound overly dated. Again, these Big Apple residents have minds of their own, and they hit their mark more often than not on this generally enjoyable debut.

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