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For four nice-looking boys from New York City, That’s Right! gets pretty freaky on their debut studio EP, Legs. They are a psych-rock band after all. I wasn’t expecting so much sonic wildness from their picture and from meeting them in person, but that’s the beauty of music. If you want to soak your EP in fuzz, it doesn’t matter what you look like. Do it!
On Legs, That’s Right! explore their love of psychedelia in a complete and holistic sense. They don’t just write rock songs with lots of fuzz and reverb on the guitars. They don’t just play long-form funk jams. Everything works with everything else. Wah-wah guitar solos abound, of course, but there’s more. It seems like every choice these boys made during this record was carefully made in service of creating this particular brand of revivalist, refreshingly un-hip, well-written rock and roll. My favorite track is the meandering “Tiger Lily”.
Every vocal line on Legs seems to have been combed through and treated with care. In some places, rapid delays begin to feed back out of control. In others, the vocals are left dry and immediate. In certain places, swelling choruses of background vocals act as sonic layers. In others, they are the focal point, as if to merge Animal Collective’s rock band past and MPP-era weirdo choirboy aesthetic. The same treatment applies to the guitar playing.
As a guitar player, I immediately lose interest in a rock album with the same over-effected guitar tone on every single track. That’s Right!’s guitarists, Griffin Novie and Tyler Kamen, manage to use several different tones as characters in a consistent story. The obligatory psych-rock wah/fuzz guitar is there, screaming its own name over several sections, but it’s propped up by excellently placed acoustics, dry 90’s alt-rock-style crunch, modern edge-of-distortion clean electrics that Ryan Adams would be proud of, and a constant bass guitar provided by Artie Greenberg climbing all over the songs, following drums and guitar riffs with equal consideration.
The lyrics are clear and consistent, and the three main vocalists make their voices distinct, but the real star here is the group vocals and the production choices. Whenever there’s a real point to be made, there’s a choral section or a lonely spoken line, grabbing attention where it needs to be grabbed.
Personally, I like them best at their quieter moments, like “Tiger Lily” and the last song on the EP, “Nothing”, but the beauty of a band like this is that you can choose.
That’s Right! is a great rock band writing well considered songs within a genre that allows for lots of lazy songwriting. Give them a listen and watch out for them in and around NYC.
Get Legs at their Bandcamp site.
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