Tiger Mountain

Analog Heads Go French

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Plenty of spunk pumps through this New York foursome's debut album, but their debt to certain other bands is transparent almost to the point of inhibiting their sound. The galloping drums and windmill guitar riff that opens "Swerve On" is so close to the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" that it almost could have been sampled, and "Earlier When I'm Gone" lies very close to the Beatles circa the White Album, down to the George Harrison phrasing on the lead and the Lennonesque melody. Even more pervasive is a Mick Jagger fixation on many of the vocals. Though the instrumental feel is closer to the Faces than the Stones, much of the singing, starting from the very first notes on "Love Is Simple," might have been fashioned by a Jagger impersonator, complete with exaggerated vowel sounds and idiosyncratic pronunciations. It's too bad, because the band does rock with a ragged but undeniable energy; by ending most tracks with a decisive final chord and then kicking without a break into the next one, they keep the heat cranked high. Perhaps it will only take a little time for them to, literally, find their own voice.

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