FADE AND YOU'RE GONE - The Botswanas (Feralette)

Been playing this non-stop, ever since it lobbed in the Bar and if you have a listen, you'll work out why. This is not-so-smooth garage-pop that bumps and bounces around the room with sharp guitarwork, the odd bit of keyboard colour, crisp, uncluttered production, an unremittingly fluid engine room and the sultry vocals of Eileen Ziontz. All in all, an intoxicating cocktail.

Partly-domiciled in Nashville and partly in New York State (must make reherarsals hell) The Botswanas are onto Album Number Three. Apparently, its predecessors were part-mod, part-punk, but this is more in the garage-pop vein to these ears. Think an organic Kinks, laced with liberal lashings of Chrissie Hynde vocals (remember her before she took the commercial high road?) That's meant in the best possible way: listen to the folkish pop-rock of "Make It Black" or the rise-and-swell of "Little Miss Pleasure Seeker" (where a yearning vocal and chiming guitars yield to angular riffing) - and you'll agree.

It's not by numbers, either. Harrison Price's urgent guitar ensures as much. The Botswanas take chances too - check the synth intro on "Pleasure Seeker" - but underline their garage credentials with a killer cover of Alice's "Is It My Body?" Both rock out righteously.

Want pop? There's the opener "Jennifer" (a stand-out from 2000's Vicious Kitten showcase, "Rock and Roll War", where we first heard them). Then there's "This Way Is Up", which manages to (lyrically) quote the Stones and the Flamin' Groovies while borrowing (musically) from the Saints (a cop from "Everything's Fine").

All in all, adventurous garage pop that knows how to rock. A gem. - The Barman



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