Goudie, with Unified Theory, the TwistOffs, and Tender Blindspot

Friday, September 1, at the Grog Shop

Even though it comes from the alternacountry town of Austin, Texas, nary a twang can be heard on Peep Show, Goudie's resonant debut. Paced by the expert pop of "Baby Hello" and the aqueous, minimalist "Strange," this quartet boasts compelling vocals and lyrics by Johnny Goudie, the androgynously throated Houston native whose decadent articulations drive the CD. The twined guitars of Goudie and Jimmy Messer are decidedly electric, but by no means steel. The band blends techno spaciousness and Beatlesque melody on the spooky "Julia," thrusts Cheap Trick-styled guitar power (buzzed from behind by stuttering, stereo-panned white noise) on the nasty "Valentine," and puts power back into the power ballad in the doo-wop-flavored "Terminal." While Goudie co-wrote some tunes with the likes of Kevin Hunter (of the late, lamented Wire Train) and former Go Go Jane Wiedlin, the band has a sound and attitude all its own. Many of its songs deal with desire and are ambiguous about gender (like Goudie's voice). You might hear Genesis in "Baby Hello," the New York Dolls in "Drag City," and Zeppelin and, faintly, Radiohead in other songs. No matter the tempo or format, Goudie not only sounds distinctive, it's defiantly erotic. Along with "Drag City," the one-two punch of "Baby Hello" and the similarly themed "Sugar Daddy" effectively embody the rock and roll paradigm -- tantalize your listeners with tunes of punch and sexual promise, and they will follow.