After the short-lived garage-rock revival scene fizzled out faster than grunge, it seems that every rock & roll duo out there gets branded as a White Stripes would-be.
Now don’t get us wrong, we love us some White Stripes. With Jack White taking distortion places we could only dream of, a color motif that makes us hungry, Meg White’s simple yet powerful drumming and a minimalism that gave our emo-drenched rock culture a much needed jolt, who wouldn’t love these guys?
But there are some great duos out there that are pretty unique. What makes us rant is how the media immediately has to peg, brand or label everyone, rather than consider everyone on their own merit.
Duos are a great thing. Remember all those wonderful times you considered suicide while listening to Roxette?
Lets take The Raveonettes.
Poor guys can’t get halfway through a review without a mention of the Stripes. Why we love The Raveonettes? Great lyrics, tons of noise, heavy electric instrumentation and a lusty affinity for sunny California pop.
Check out “Aly, Walk With Me” from their new album, “Lust, Lust, Lust”.
How about The Kills?
Ok, Ok… Their first album was on the garage side, Amazon had to remind us. But after 2 albums and a collection of EP’s soaked in sex, drugs and everything unwholesome that makes up rock n’ roll, The Kills polished up their act and gave us Midnight Boom, a surprisingly coherent and sexy collection of electro-punk songs that draws more from The Velvet Underground than any candy-cane themed band out there.
Why we love em? We suspect vocalist Alison Mosshart a.k.a. VV, is a very naughty girl. Oh… and they rock too!
Finally, what would this post be without a mention of The Black Keys? As good as these guys are, they haven’t been able to shake the White Stripes comparisons for years, as seen on virtually every review posted by Rolling Stone.
The Black Keys have probably had the hardest time with it, since both groups rose to prominence in the early 2000’s. However, the Black Keys have remained religiously closer to their blues influences, with a dirtier mix of funk, soul and rock that feels closer to Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and the Kinks.
Check out their site and listen to “Strange TImes” from their latest album “Attack and Release”.
So, music critics, don’t blemish the duo concept. We’d hate to think about promising partners out there shying away from the music biz because they may be considered unoriginal.
Some other great duos worth your time:
- Heavy Trash – “Way Out“
- Deadboy & The Elephantmen (sadly, now defunct) – “Blood Music“
- The Dresden Dolls – “Dirty Business“