Total Riot Records
Strange Roux's debut EP, Boogie Man, serves up a traditional brew of classic Southern rock, made exotic with a spicy seasoning of modern rock motifs. Lead singer Michelle Cunnigham's bluesy vocals are more haunting than soothing, giving the songs a sharper tang than more rootsdriven Southern rock. What really sets Strange Roux apart, though, is their masterfully minimalist use of drum and bass. Tony Frickey (drums) and Eric Burgess (bass) give the songs their pulse, holding the beat at a brisk and continual cadence; stripped down, these two seem more fi tting for a pop-punk act than classic rock. Listen to the drumming during the refrain on the title track, and the bass and drum line on "Midnight Dancer" and you'll hear it. It is this energetic pop simplicity that allows the complexity of the guitar work to shine. Jason Kareores and John Thompson have a bluesy sound that brings to mind Led Zeppelin- this is best exemplifi ed in the track "Yellow Moon Blues," the album's standout track alongside its eponymous opener. The album's most fun tune is the rabid hard rocker "Gator Bite," a fast and furious punk-meets-Southern rock rager.
Boogie Man gives a unique update to a classic rock sound. Rather than diluting its essence like many modern rock efforts, the album's pop sensibilities accentuate the distinctiveness of its infl uencing style-even giving it a more danceable, indie-rock feel. A solidly conceived fi rst act from an exciting up-and-comer.