Transit Belle

Dead on a Vine

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Following a 2004 EP produced by Steve Albini, Dead on a Vine is the first full-length from New York power trio Transit Belle. The album builds on the strengths of the EP by toning down the group's obvious veneration of Fugazi and developing a more unique sound. Not that they don't still sound a heck of a lot like Fugazi, but this time around, songs like the driving "While You Wait" (which features a hypnotic, droning guitar sound that's more like Yo La Tengo than anything from Washington, D.C.) and the straightforward punk-pop of "Mango Chutney" are much more appealing. (New bassist Rebekah Whitehurst is a big improvement over her predecessor, as well.) As for the other, more overtly Fugazi-like tunes, "You Will Address Me as Commander" is the best of the lot, a brittle riff-rocker that singer/guitarist Joe Penna delivers with a righteous sneer.

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