The Visitors | The Visitors (Eschatone)

cd_visitorsCombining a knack for catchy melodies with a passionate performance and lyrics never too far removed from traditional rock subject, the Visitors should appeal to any garage rock enthusiast with their just-under-30-minutes, self-titled album.

 

 

 

 

The Visitors are 100% garage rock. Like their distorted, energetic, and slightly reckless sound, this New York trio is proud to claim that they're "never gonna be clean and civilized." The sound that the Visitors achieve is excellent. The band and recorder/mixer (no proudcer is listed) Uncle Mitro capture the ragged edge of garage rock while not sounding like a reactionary band trying to sound exactly like the album was recorded in the '60s or '70s. Combining a knack for catchy melodies with a passionate performance and lyrics never too far removed from traditional rock subject, the Visitors should appeal to any garage rock enthusiast with their just-under-30-minutes, self-titled album.

Like many music artists, the Visitors throw their best songs at the front of their album. "Clean and Civilized" bats leadoff and rides a hip riff with an effectively repetitive rhythm and some great-sounding handclaps. They follow this with the great "My Unknown Love," which sports a nice chord progression to make for a very catchy tune. The Visitors turn down the tempo but not the intensity of "TV Blues," a pounding number that borrows elements from the blues but rocks hard and contains hilarious lyrics about how watching crappy TV shows in the daytime is giving the protagonist the "daytime TV blues." The best song here, however, might be "Leave Her Alone." Despite some clichéd lyrics, the song's driving rhythm, great melodies, and fantastic performance make it a standout.

Outside of these four great tracks, the rest of the CD is a mixed bag. "Stop What You're Doin'" and "I Don't Belong" are nice, mid-tempo tracks, and "Never Get Enough" and "Happy Again" overcome predictable chord progressions with rocking performances (and harmonica) but aren't up to the standards set by the beginning of the album. Elsewhere, the album falters on a technically sound but boring cover of Roky Erikson's "I Walked With a Zombie." "Runnin' From You" suffers from being an underwritten, 1-4-5 rock song that comes off like a half-baked "Too Much Monkey Business."

Overall, though, the Visitors' self-titled debut is a success because the good outweighs the bad. There are at most only three duds on the album and the band plays their asses off throughout. It won't be looked back on as an essential album of 2007, but there are enough good songs to merit attention, especially if you like garage rock. B | Bob McMahon

RIYL: The Strokes, the Hold Steady

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