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May 20, 2024

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Rewired (Krave Records)

By: Bernadette Giacomazzo

Any band that has the musical cujones to admit influences of improvisational drone gods Spiritualized while maintaining their own brand of club-rock psychedelia not seen since the Monterrey Pop Festival of thirty years ago is, in my eyes, a band worth listening to. The Boston-bred boys of LOCKGROOVE(twins Martin and Ryan Rex on drums and guitar/vocals, guitarist Adam Brilla, keyboardist Daniel Finn, and bassist Dave Goodman) do their thing on their debut EP release, Rewired, and hold nothing sacred...including your expectations.

I must admit, when I first popped this CD into my player, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. Lockgroove has been heralded in a variety of places -- The Boston Phoenix, The Chicago Reader, even Billboard -- and that's all admirable and fine, but one needn't look farther than the critics who slagged Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel to realize how wrong critics can sometimes be. After all, we're paid to bitch, and sometimes, we bitch recklessly. Need I count how many of us are trying to sell back our Dinosaur Jr. and Darlahood CD's?

So when the first track, "Take It Away", came on, I was a bit shocked and disappointed to hear Rex sound more like an acid-tripped Thurston Moore and less like husky dew voiced Lou Reed. Then I abandoned all pretense and just let the music speak for itself. That's when I realized what everyone was saying: unlike the major label puppets of the late Nineties(a la Matchbox Blind, Third Eye Twenty...or whatever), Lockgroove aren't trying to whip you into Y2k with a homogenized brand of Nirvana-esque punk-grunge, or(dare I say it?) a new form of the old New Kids dance simply because that's what sells at the moment. They're rocking you into the new millenium with a brand of music that recalls an era so often reduced to parody . . . back when people made music because they believed in it, back when people were signed because (brace yourselves) they really had something to say.

They threw the rod and reeled me in. Once that song was over, I couldn't wait for the next one to begin. At the same time, I couldn't wait for the next one to be over, because I wanted to hear what the next one was saying. Whether we're talking about the bloop-bloop-blooping ambience of "Traced in Fire" that would make Brian Eno and Tex Axile proud, or the experimental "Dragonfly" that defies all niches and explanations, or the super-powerful "Come On" that redefines the five-minute rock song, this is a solid LP that deserves a listen, if only for aesthetic reasons. Caveat emptor, however: Rewired may prove addictive.

Rating: B+

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