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The Blakes
Self Titled
Light in the Attic Records
Two Times

The Blakes follow in the grand tradition of a wide array of "The" Bands, including The Who, The Stooges and The Strokes. The net result is an album that sounds like it was written on beer-soaked napkins in dirty hotels and motel bathrooms - which is in fact pretty much the case. Brothers Garnet and Snow Keim busked across America, and at the end of their songwriting odyssey found themselves in a Seattle coffee shop, where they met drummer Bob Husak. Thus ended the first stage of their journey, and the beginning of The Blakes.

The Blakes' self-titled debut hits all the right retro notes, combining equal parts grungy garage and jangly Brit-pop into just over half an hour of awesome. Album opener "Two Times" is angry, noisy guitar rock on par with The Vines "Get Free" for both sheer energy and radio-friendliness, but it's only one side of The Blakes; songs like "Don't Bother Me," "Modern Man," and "Run" demonstrate a poppier, dancier side of The Blakes - equal parks Kinks, Strokes and Modern English - while songs like "Vampire" drift into darker, moodier territory inhabited by the likes of Bauhaus. Only the meandering, somewhat discordant "Streets" (the only song on the album that exceeds the three minute mark) seems to lack the focused energy The Blakes present elsewhere; it's an A-minus closer to an otherwise A-plus album.

Favorite Track: "Two Times"

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Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing, game design and music reviewing. He is best known as the creator of the Internet cult sensation, Ninja Burger. He can be reached at or at his website,

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