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Fast & out of control wins the race, album cover ||| The Izzys: Fast & out of control wins the race |||

The Izzys
Compared by The Village Voice and others to the Rolling Stones - 'more like the Stones than the Stones these days' according to one review - The Izzys are the latest in a continuing stream of exciting rock 'n' roll bands following The Strokes out of New York.

The sound and the attitude are undoubtedly retro. And yes, they do sound like The Stones. There's a lot of people writing out this whole genre of bands as essentially derivative and unimaginative. So a whole new scene, which is actually pretty diverse, is getting lumped together as poor hybrids of all those bands that were great guitar bands 30 years ago. A tide of miserable reviewers desperate to maintain their cool mutters darkly about the MC5, Stooges, Stones and others doing all this before, and so much better.

Ok. So where do I go to to see some of that goodtime hellraising rock 'n' roll now? To my bedroom, with a 4 pack and a stereo? A Stones concert? Yeah right, they really rock these days... No, I want to see something going on now, live or at least new and lively, with a fresh slant on the old game. And here they come - Strokes, Izzys, Mooney Suzuki, Mutts, and a host of others revitalising a genre that many seem only too happy to fossilise. Hell, if Primal Scream could get away with it a few years ago propped up by slick production values and a host of Memphis session musicians, this latest batch of scrawny, garage rock hopefuls has gotta be worth a listen!

What you get on this EP are seven country-inflected tracks that veer from the full ahead energy of Velocity to the more reflective Blue & Gold. While comparisons to the usual suspects are easy to draw, there are also shades of the cowpunk phenomenon of the late 80s: Green On Red, Fetchin' Bones, early Long Ryders. This is particularly evident on the third track, Change Your Mind, though it lacks the lunatic edge that The Boggs are giving this kind of stuff.

The EP has a great sound, a dirty fuzz overlaid with crisp, meandering guitar licks, and Mike Storey's Maryland drawl gives The Izzys a pretty distinctive vocal sound. They don't blow the speakers out though, like The Datsuns. If anything, they're a little conservative in their rocking out, Velocity and Little Sally Water being the real exceptions. They're touring the UK as I write, and by all accounts they're fantastic live, but the EP is a little too sweet and melodic in places. Fast, good garage music, but just not quite out of control enough.

For more information about The Izzys, check out their website
No-Neck Blues Band

 Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong and Jung Eunju at RELAY 04, 2005

||| currently listening to |||
  • William S. Burroughs - The Instrument of Control [Archivio Letterario]
  • Miles Davis - In A Silent Way [Columbia]
  • Bill Dixon - In Italy [Soul Note]
  • Will Gaines & Derek Bailey - Rappin & Tappin [Incus]
  • Guided By Voices - Alien Lanes [Matador]
  • Choi Joonyong - White Disc Ver.2 [Balloon & Needle]
  • Merzbow - Eucalypse [Soleilmoon]
  • Taku Sugimoto & Annette Krebs - Eine gitarre ist eine guitarre... [Rossbin]
  • Ryu Hankil, Jin Sangtae, Choi Joonyong - 5 Modules I [Manual]
  • Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide - Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves [Balloon & Needle]
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