Sex 66

Grew Up Down

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From Sacramento, CA, Sex 66 come on like a super-confident house on fire -- they're mighty refreshing after a decade of icy drone and slowcore. But that's not to say they make a unique noise, albeit 12 originals are collected here. The group's most obvious frame of reference is the Stones at their most potent, but there are plenty of inspirational touches from the unabridged book of rock & roll: Quadrophenia-era Who, early Roxy Music, Johnny Thunder's Heartbreakers, the Replacements, Small Faces, and Black Crowes. "Kandi" is a soul-filled spin on early Van Morrison; "Passion" is one of those great songs that just pushes forward without a chorus, driven by an old glam rock sax riff. Some of the entries fall flat in fussy arrangements, but Sex 66 personify rock & roll. They dress the part while they sing of cars, guitars, and girls; cymbals crash and guitars riff. They're at their best when they rock ("My Dying Day") and better when they leave the Americana to those better equipped to handle it.

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