The Warren Commission

Rendezvous With You

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This is a peppery foursome from Western Massachusetts with a clever name (if you forgot who the Warren Commission was, go and see the JFK movie again), on a label named after the great Boston hockey hall of famer Phil Esposito, and a singer in Sarah Dudek that reminds a bit of another Beantown underground star, Juliana Hatfield. Though Rendezvous is produced by Thom Monahan of the Pernice Brothers (an upgrade over their first LP, What the Rain Doesn't Know, originally intended as demos), they dish out pleasant post-punk with ringing guitars, a boisterous rhythm section, and shouted backing vocals like Jawbox from talented guitarist Jonathan Hebert. It's not revolutionary (a dozen D.C. bands used to sound like this), but it's well-played, and there's some quiet bridges that presage a highly unusual finale; after a noise collage, "The Consequence of Boys and Girls" is just Dudek and some comely piano chords, a sharp relief from their usual character. This sort of lavender taste could work its way into their other material -- it's truly striking. Kudos for the unique "notebook" sleeve packaging, too! Haven't seen that before. (P.O. Box 63, Allston, MA 02134; esposcores@hotmail.com)