Saturday, August 19, 2006

Three by Two / Two by Three

The Tyde, Three's Co. , Rough Trade (8/29/06 release date)

That isn't a typo. It's Three's Co., not Three's Company. The album is their third, following Once (2001) and Twice (2003). There are five people in the LA band, including three Rademakers: Darren (vocals, guitar), wife Ann (keyboards), and brother Brent (bass, backing vocals) from Beachwood Sparks. The quintet is rounded out by Ben Knight (guitar) and Ric Menck (drums). I would imagine they've heard a few Beach Boys and Zombies LPs in their time as Three's Co. is breezy pop with a psychedelic edge.

Mostly, the Tyde reminds me of the Jesus and Mary Chain, but without all the feedback (over the years, they've also been compared to Felt and Lloyd Cole & the Commotions). These 13 tunes are light, bouncy, and mid-tempo. Two of the best are remixes: James Figurine adds beats to "Glassbottom Lights," while Nobody lends "Don't Need a Leash" some much needed attitude. I tried to work up some enthusiasm for this record, I really did--"Ltd. Appeal" and the remixes came close--but I just couldn't do it. Three's Co. is pleasant, professional...and a little dull.

Thunderbirds Are Now!,
Make History, Frenchkiss (10/3/06 release date)

TAN! singer Ryan Allen [right] has occasionally been described as a girl--his singing, that is. Apparently, he doesn't mind. That's a good thing, as he doesn't sound particularly masculine on the band's third full-length. "Androgonous" is probably a better word; sometimes he sounds feminine, sometimes not. But his quartet isn't dishing out sexually ambiguous Antony and the Johnsons-type tunes--not that there's anything, well, you know--but rather angular, post-punky guitar stuff. They hail from Detroit, but don't sound like any other Motor City crews with which I'm familiar.

The group has also noted that if they were based in Brooklyn, they wouldn't be attracting as much attention. They've got a point. To quote the title of track six: "Sound Issues/Smart Ideas." (Or as the Saints once put it, "Know your product.") For New York--especially Williamsburg--Make History might not seem so original. For Detroit, it does. That said, it isn't a bad record. In fact, it's pretty good. Based on the press for Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief (2002) and Justamustache (2005), I was expecting something akin to Gang of Four-meets-Bloc Party, but there's a fair amount of power-pop here, and I hear more Cheap Trick than Go4. Worth a listen.

Endnote: Tyde buttons from their official website, TAN! images from Frenchkiss Records (Eric Emmons credited). Tyde trivia: "Brock Landers" features Conor Deasy from the Thrills, Rick Menck is a veteran of Velvet Crush and Matthew Sweet, and Ann Do Rademaker also plays with Gwen Stefani's touring band.


Anonymous said...

I think I like the new Tyde record better than you do, but Once is their best. That's when the really sounded like Felt (not a bad thing in my opinion).

kathy fennessy said...

Thanks for the comment. I'll keep an eye out for that record. I like Felt, too, and could hear a little of their influence on the new album.