Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Lashes - Get It - 2006

Say Seattle outside of Washington state, and the inevitable response is Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. But besides those Emerald City rock monsters, the city has also hosted pop heroes the Posies and a thriving punk scene, as MXPX fans will quickly acclaim. Young guns the Lashes fall somewhere between these two latter musical threads, "stroppy pop for now people." They certainly attack their songs with all the fervor of any self-respecting punk band, but their arrangements are much denser and rock-flecked, hailing back to the halcyon days of the late '70s, when surly pop-rockers like the young Tom Petty and even wacky Cheap Trick could lay claim to punkdom or at least to riding the new wave. Following up on their much acclaimed debut EP The Stupid Stupid, the Lashes now return with their first full-length, Get It, and indeed you should. Storming across 11 songs, well nine, really -- "Dear Hollywood" is more downbeat, "Sometimes the Sun" more effervescent -- the group slam out a stream of rich melodies, driving rhythms, and catchy choruses. From the punky opener "New Best Friend" through the Big Star-like closer "Wanna Girl," the Lashes run riot through the rock realm. Cheap Trick inspires a clutch of numbers, but there are echoes of so much else -- the Clash, the Romantics, even Acid Eaters-era Ramones, and the Cars are included.But as power pop-flecked and new wave-ish as that all may suggest, the band never really sound retro. Tight, exhilarating, edgy, and infectious, Get It has got it all -- a superb debut. -AMG

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