April 2, 2006

Review: The Five Mod Four | Whiskers

The Five Mod Four -- WhiskersIf anyone is successfully repping a traditional, baseline sound in contemporary indie rock, it's Milwaukee's excellent The Five Mod Four (as you might suspect from so obvious a moniker, there are neither five nor four people in the line-up). The trio's forthcoming full-length Whiskers, which is slated to street April 11 on Contraphonic, touts high-energy guitar jangle, cheerfully jittery vocals and occasional flourishes of roller-rink organ or accordion. The label cites Miracle Legion and The dBs as touchstones for the band; we'd augment that with typical nerd-rock influences Jonathan Richman and The Feelies. The Five Mod Four's is a very pure indie rock sound, as indeterminate as that description may be. What is clear is that there are a whole lot of people who will sleep on this record (the drab album art doesn't help), and we advise thee to get thee to a nunner- err, we mean, you should check out the downloads that Contraphonic has posted here or the streams the act has up at its MySpace hizzouse. The obvious hit is the sub-two minute blast of "Somebody Failed," an unstoppable train of power pop that sounds like an addictive chorus for the whole of its 1:47. A cover of Orange Juice's "Poor Old Soul" with its catchy chant of "no more rock and roll for you" also stands out. The tracks are highlights on a record filled with clever and able songwriting dynamically executed with indie rock's basic building blocks.

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