The Blackouts

Everyday Is a Sunday Evening

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The success of the Strokes in 2002 demonstrated that there was still a market for melodic, hooky, riff-driven garage rock. The Strokes were hailed as the unofficial leaders of New York City's neo-garage scene (which was dominated by Brooklyn), but a band certainly doesn't have to be from the Big Apple to have a neo-garage focus. Take the Blackouts, for example. Released on the Chicago-based Lucid Records, Every Day Is Sunday Evening is a perfect example of neo-garage rock coming from the Midwest -- and this CD can easily hold its own against the bands that have come from N.Y.C.'s neo-garage scene in the 21st century. The adjectives that favorably describe New York's best neo-garage outfits -- melodic, hook-filled, tuneful, infectious -- also describe Blackouts tracks like "Gotta Go Somewhere Else" and "One More Time." And the comparisons that have typically been applied to the Blackouts' N.Y.C. counterparts also apply to the Blackouts, whose influences include, among others, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, and the Velvet Underground -- a band that, in the late '60s, wasn't nearly as well-known as it deserved to be. As a solo artist, Lou Reed is much better known than he was during his years with the Velvet Underground; nonetheless, the Underground's recordings became increasingly influential after their breakup, and the Velvet Underground influence that one hears on parts of this 2002 release illustrates their long-lasting impact. Every Day Is Sunday Evening won't win any awards for being the most innovative or forward-thinking disc of the early 2000s; the Blackouts are unapologetically derivative. But they're derivative in a good way -- especially if you're a die-hard garage rock enthusiast -- and anyone who has been paying a lot of attention to the Strokes will find that this release is well worth checking out.

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