It's tempting to compare Mr. Airplane Man to the White Stripes because both bands consist of just two people, have toured together, and crank out a brand of trashy blues that owes as much to the Delta as to Detroit (where the White Stripes reside and Mr. Airplane Man recorded their follow-up, Moanin'). The comparison works better in theory than in practice, however, as these women -- Margaret Garrett (guitar) and Tara McManus (drums) -- actually sound more like a female Gories or a grungier Holly Golightly. And Garrett's vocal style owes more to Kim Gordon (who also covered the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with Sonic Youth) or fellow Bostonian Thalia Zedek than the sweeter-sounding Golightly (who can kick up quite the blues ruckus, as well). It's also because Jeffrey Evans' production is pretty murky (the album was recorded at his home studio in Memphis). This rawness, which isn't far removed from Evans' work with his own band, 68 Comeback, gives the proceedings an authentic down-home feel, which, in and of itself, isn't such a bad thing, but a little extra polish would only help to seal the deal. In any case, these spirited Howlin' Wolf devotees show great promise on their Sympathy for the Record Industry debut, foretelling even better things to come in the future.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy