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The Vibration 

Amarilla (Sink & Stove)

"No shoegazers here!" swoons Vibration singer Ann Fitzgerald, on "Muscle Memory," the lead-off tune from this Brooklyn band's debut. Well, there might be a few boot-staring palookas in their audience, as most of Amarilla is raw, sauntering guitar churn and rolling drums, calling to mind moody early '90s mashers like Scrawl, Slant Six, or Sleater-Kinney in its more reflective moments. Of course, those bands and their subsequent progeny never intended fans to stand like statues at concerts, staring at the floor with distressed looks, as if there might be a cockroach problem in the joint -- it just kind of turned out that way.

So the Vibration is a nice reclamation of Riot Grrrl gumption and anti-chops dogma, brought round to pure energized emotion. The playing gets more confident as the songs sprawl out, eschewing current indie tricks (thank God, no synth player!) while Fitzgerald's Wire-like chanted-crooning phrasing concentrates on emotional relationship laments, sounding not defeated, but simply more determined. It's nth-generation blues, with a demurely cocky self-knowledge of the kind women have monopolized in guitar rock for years now.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Eric Davidson


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