Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chicks Who Rock (really)

I have been listening to this album - Know Better Learn Faster by Thao with the Get Down Stay Down (awesome name) - for a couple of months and I can't really put my finger on why I like it so much. First, the lead singer (Thao - pictured above), is a chick who sounds more like she would jump kick off the couch and shred a solo than most female leads. Equal parts Karen O and Shan Michaels. Second, this is pretty straight forward rock - catchy hooks, 4/4 beats, not too showy, but rocking enough to make you want to stomp around. It's also got a little surfer edge - mostly influenced by the choice of guitar, but despite some pretty typical sad sack song themes (love and lack thereof, breakups etc.), these tunes are indisputably upbeat.

Body, Easy and When We Swam are winners, the title track ain't bad either.

Second - Ida Marie's Fortress 'round My Heart. I haven't heard a song title this bad since Janis: "I like you so much better when you're naked." Get it girl. Very Patti Smith. She manages to walk the line between really turning up the pace and energy and devolving into maniacal chaos (a common problem I find with faster, edgier rock albums) - it's all very controlled and her voice still sounds awesome the whole way through (shrieking included). I mean she starts a song with, "Whiskey please, I need some whiskey please," but her voice belongs more to the Smiths than Joplin. Good stuff.

Stella, Morning Light, and Oh My God are good additions to the aforementioned tune.


Los Dawg said...

Wow, Thao. She managed to blend Weezer, Pavement, and Modest Mouse into the same sound. Pretty impressive. nice find, B.

richard said...

Wow-really digging When We Swarm and Know Better Learn Faster...

Waniel K said...

I love Thao- Also try her first album, too, "We Brave Bee Stings and All," I think it's even a bit sweeter.

Jah Bless