Favorite

The Modeens: Take a Ride With the Modeens (Self-released) 

Here's a pleasant surprise: a surf-garage-R&B band playing rambunctious rave-ups that don't blindly parrot 1960s-style music. Instead, The Modeens take a familiar sound, borrow its tropes and motifs, and rework it, throwing in a modern spin.

Listeners may find themselves itching to do the pony, the frug or the watusi after the first couple of tunes, but just as we think we've figured this band out, The Modeens add grit to their DayGlo with the muscular, bluesy "Thang," followed by the swamp-abilly venture "Where Are the Spacemen?" and the two-part "Sonic Daydream," which balances sunny Paisley Underground folk-pop with a heavier psychedelic side.

Guitarist-organist Jamie Laboz and bassist Cristina Williams often trade vocals, although they sound best when harmonizing, such as on "Better Late Than Never." That tune also includes Laboz's mind-bending guitar, on which his tone falls somewhere between that of bagpipes and sitar.

A dandy cover of The Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul" helps provide context, while "Showdown" gallops along on desert-bred alt-country. The closer, "Zombie Girl," conflates B-movie sci-fi and horror, but with a candy-colored sheen.

It's obvious that the band labored carefully on the album, which Laboz produced, engineered, mixed and mastered himself. Throughout, the textures are just right, evoking a classic iteration of rock 'n' roll while sounding fully and confidently contemporary.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

After Orlando: An International Theatre Action

Fifth Annual Rock Lottery with The Flycatcher

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl Tucson

    This week: The Spiders 'Don’t Blow Your Mind' b/w 'No Price Tag'
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • Court and Spark

    This Tucson singer-songwriter, who moonlights as a jailhouse psychotherapist, overcame career-killing circumstances
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation