Truckee Brothers

Double Happiness

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San Diego's Truckee Brothers -- baritone singer, guitarist, and keyboard player Cady, tenor singer and guitarist Peat, bassist Ott, and drummer Hemiway -- have a sound that used to be known as mainstream rock, at a time when so-called alternative rock really was an alternative and not the most common style. Emerging from a bar scene in which they no doubt have had to make themselves heard over crowds of drinkers, they have developed a distinctive style of their own, but one within a recognizable and dated general style. They play hard rock, led by powerful electric guitar riffs and drums that emphasize the two and the four in four-four beat patterns. Over that familiar sound, Cady and Peat trade off lead vocals or harmonize in a tough but melodic way. It's easy to imagine one of their songs being sandwiched between Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Bad Company on one of the dwindling number of classic rock radio stations devoted to the music of the late '60s and '70s, except, of course, that those stations don't play records by bands that aren't of the proper vintage. And it's also worth noting that, while the style of the Truckee Brothers' music is consistent with "Taking Care of Business" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love," they don't really come up with songs that catchy. In fact, they mostly reject conventional song structures, eschewing big choruses featuring the titles of the songs. One might listen to "Bon Voyeurage" and suppose that it was called "Night So Cold," since that's the phrase that is repeated, and the same is true of the short, punkish "Mega Watt," which sounds like it ought to be called "Get on the Road." And that's what separates Truckee Brothers from their predecessors; like many of the artists who followed the classic rockers, they come off more as stylists than songwriters.

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