When an alternative rock band is also a horn band, listeners can, in many cases, expect to hear ska-punk. But while Janet Vodka has a horn section (two trumpets and a trombone), this alternative rock combo doesn't play any ska-punk -- no one will mistake this self-titled 2000 debut for an album by Reel Big Fish or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Ska is only a minor influence on this chance-taking CD, which incorporates everything from punk to 1960s pop to jazz. Based in Yonkers, NY, near the Big Apple, Janet Vodka (which has no less than 14 members -- a rarity in alternative rock) is unpredictable and fairly original; when quirky tracks like "Sweet Bitch," "My Generation" (not to be confused with the Who classic), and "Day Job" are playing, you know that the band can hardly be called generic or formulaic. How accessible you find Janet Vodka to be depends on which song you're playing; "I Hate It" is dissonant and angular, but many of the other tracks are, for all their eccentricity, quite infectious. Janet Vodka isn't perfect -- some of the songs are more successful than others. But most of the time, the band's risk-taking pays off on this promising CD.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson