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Ikara Colt "Chat and Business" (Epitaph)
Sounding a bit like their fellow British countrymen and Joy Division poster children Interpol, with a helping of New York darlings The Liars, Ikara Colt help blur the line between garage rock and punk, while not rehashing "Louie, Louie." Released at the tail end of last year's new wave of garage rock, "Chat and Business" blends fuzzed-out guitars with creepy, hollow vocals that borrow more from Sonic Youth than The Strokes.
On "City of Glass," the London quartet let the bass drone on and on with repeating lyrics and a taste of over-driven leads. "Pop Group" shreds with a distorted surf riff over tinny vocals, sounding as if singer Paul Resende sang through a beat-up old amp, and just stuck a microphone in front of it to pick up the noise.
Album highlights include "Sing Venice," a jumpy staccato number that features drum roll after drum roll and vocal harmonies from guitarist Claire Ingram. "Here We Go Again" comes off like a Black Flag song, with jazzy hard-core guitar parts and a down-tuned rhythm section.
While on initial listen "Chat and Business" might come off as an underproduced noise rock record, the layering noise and melody can't be any more slick and beautiful, which alone should keep Ikara Colt out of the garage and on the big stage.
By GEORGE KORONEOS