February 22, 2006

Review: His Name Is Alive | Detrola

Veteran indie act His Name Is Alive, the 16-year-old musical enterprise of Michigan's Warn Defever, released its delicious sixth record Detrola last month. The pleasantly scattered set opens with a bit of an anomaly, a Celtic-sounding drone ballad. But for the most part the record's music fits into two general piles: techno-driven workouts (see the scrambler "After I Leave You" and the nicely naughty "In My Dream") and '70s AM Gold-inspired pop rockers (the irresistable "Get Your Curse;" "I Thought I Saw" in particular recalls The Carpenters). The simple tremeloed guitar in album closer "Send My Face" may in fact be the most gorgeous thing on the record, but it faces strong competition from the talents of three female vocalists used on Detrola. Particularly affecting is the work of Andrea (a/k/a Andy FM), whose yearning delivery on "C*A*T*S*" is especially compelling, although she is strong everywhere on the record. Erika Hoffman's voice energizes the almost-show tune "You Need A Heart," which would be a great track for Tin Man to sing in the indie rock version of "The Wiz." Detrola, released on the band's own Silver Mountain imprint, displays a broad range but is surprisingly listenable across the board. The band has the following tour dates set for March.

[Buy Detrola from Insound]

03/11 -- Ann Arbor, MI -- Blind P.
03/16 -- Austin, TX -- Habana Calle 6
03/23 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Knitting Factory
03/24 -- San Francisco, CA -- Café du Nord
03/25 -- San Francisco, CA -- Café du Nord
03/27 -- Portland, OR -- Doug Fir
03/28 -- Seattle, WA -- Neumos

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