The Fame

Get on the Beat

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New York was red-hot with rock bands in the first half of the new millennium, but few were quite as straight-ahead, nuts-and-bolts, and elemental as textbook, no-frills pop/rockers the Fame. For its sonic inspiration on this debut EP, the quartet looked back about as far as 1975 and then forward to roughly 1982. The years prior to that narrow window of time and all the ones that came after it seem largely to have escaped the band's notice. This, in other words, is the muscular sound of a N.Y.C. that existed before these guys (and one gal) probably were even born, or at least while they were still sucking on pacifiers. But so what. Anachronistic though it is, the music is also as taut and glossy as black leather, and the songwriting, best exemplified by Get on the Beat's bookend tunes, the title track, and "The Bedford Girls," is ballsy and hook-filled. If there is the prospect that the album plays like a self-conscious retro act, at least it's a strong act.

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