The Tom Collins

The Tom Collins

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With hooks Stone Temple Pilots would kill for, guitar riffs cut from the Led Zeppelin songbook, and a knack for arty experimentation that recalls the Beatles' more adventurous output, their debut album has the power-trio punch of a band with twice their experience. Frontman Fran Capitanelli takes the bull by the horns on the raucous "National Row," grinding out a rock riff that will get indie rock heads banging, then adding a trippy twist for the acid fiends in the audience. "Lifejacket" sounds like Sonic Youth covering "Tomorrow Never Knows," with dissonant, distorted guitars hiding sugary-sweet vocal harmonies, while the acoustic "See Thru Dress" matches an infectious melody with a thunder-of-the-rock-gods drumbeat that recalls John Bonham at his simplest and most effective. Though not quite as fully realized as their second LP, this David Barbe-produced debut album is an inventive introduction to a formidable group of alt-rock talents.

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