Saturday, September 22, 2007

Review: Epsilons - Killed 'Em Deader 'n a Six Card Poker Hand

Label: Retard Disco

Released: June 26, 2007

If precision, refinement and crisp production are part of your idea of a great album, Killed 'Em Deader 'n a Six Card Poker Hand is probably not for you. However, if you like raw rock n roll energy, you've come to the right place.

Epsilons aren't just superficial garage rockers trying to stake their claim in the wake of the White Stripes. These kids (they were just finishing up high school when this was recorded) write songs that dig way down into garage rock history for a sound that is jagged, spastic and dark, yet soulful. It's not clear that come to it via historical knowledge or simply an innate understanding of what puts the rock in even rehashed garage rock. After all, they even cover "Stronger Than Dirt," an old Jay and the Techniques 60s soul tune, via a 90s remake done by the Mummies.

Either way though, they have managed to capture something special from the angry, unbridled punk of the opener, "I Hate (Your Face)," to the wild, noisy rock n roll of the closer, "Papa Told Me." The whole album is an almost unwieldy attack of loose rhythm, fuzzy guitar and snotty vocals with a dark, almost insidious, organ undercurrent that turns the whole thing into a psychedelic fun house. True low budget production keeps it just on the good side of the listenability line without losing even a half step in the album's mad dash to the finish.

However they come by it, Epsilons' maniacal interpretation of garage rock captures the details that elude many bands with many more years under their belts. It makes me wonder what to expect from these guys next.

Rating: 8/10


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