Extra Classic

Your Light Like White Lightning, Your Light Like a Laser Beam

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The path that led Adrianne Verhoeven from the Anniversary to Extra Classic is a bit of a winding one, but credit to her for not wanting to repeat herself with the latter band's debut recording in 2011. With "Congo Rebel" kicking things off as a dreamy mishmash of spooky psych pop and reggae in equal amounts, Your Light Like White Lightning aims squarely at resurrecting a feeling from the past and generally succeeds at it. The album has the feeling of a classic '70s full-length effort in that the rhythms are paramount and generally similar if not exact; if the result is hardly hanging with the Wailers in Studio One by default, it's an accomplished instance of pastiche that doesn't try to pretend otherwise. It's also not, say, the Police's reworking of similar inspirations, or even Blondie's; if Extra Classic aren't much different in the end from any number of straight-up reggae acts essentially re-mining the past that you can find at college campus spring festivals, one suspects they wouldn't mind that at all. There's plenty of echo on top of echo on "Electric Stars," space as important as guitar and vocals but with the time for a lovely guitar-only break, while "Angel Eyes" makes for an interesting ringer as well -- not a Roxy Music cover, but a drumless, guitar and keyboard-led piece that feels more like a lost tearjerker from the late '50s or early '60s crossed with a bit of Mazzy Star, leading into the concluding "Give Me Your Love" with a slightly more uptempo but similarly more downbeat country-rock feeling. It's an interesting twist on the theme. Also, give some credit for a good line in song titles, if only because "Metal Tiger" really should have been the name of some T. Rex smash hit from 1972.

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