The Paybacks

Knock Loud

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Amid Detroit's vibrant trash rock underground lie many different and unique artists. One of the most memorable is the Paybacks, a powerful combo that takes their cue from the power pop scene of the late '70s. Their sound is still distinctly from Detroit, offering gobs of loud guitars and supercharged drumming that give the material the edge that's necessary to make it work. With more hooks than a bait shop and an impeccable sense of timing, songs like "If I Fell" and "Just You Wait" are energetic nuggets that find their success in simplicity. Written by singer/guitarist Wendy Case and guitarist Marco Delicato, the album has a directness that keeps the whole affair lean and fast-paced. Case's rough voice and confident approach invites Joan Jett/Chrissie Hynde comparisons, but she adds a biting shot of personality that makes it distinctly her own. Years of hard-fought experience taught the band valuable lessons in presentation and attitude, and this results in memorable riffs, big choruses, and clever lyrics that hinge on Case's charismatic growl. Like many of the Detroit rock records from this time period, Knock Loud is a cool, fat-free, and fun album that deserves to be played loudly.

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