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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Introducing the Sounds of The Husbands
Swami Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Slicked back hair, drag races, vanilla malteds and knife fights are the images behind the music of San Francisco's The Husbands. These three ladies play trashy rock 'n' roll based on a steady diet of old school rhythm and blues and subterranean Crypt-style garage rock. Sadie Shaw and Sarah Reed (both on guitar and vocals) hail from San Diego originally but moved to the more temperate locales of San Francisco and Olympia, respectively. The two played in a bunch of projects involved with labels like Kill Rock Stars, K and GSL (The Bonnot Gang, On the Take, The Drivers, The Lies and The Vanishing, to name a few). In 2001 they hooked up with Nikki Sloate, formerly of No Knife and The Subtractions, and finally found a permanent drummer to complete this trilogy of rawk goddesses.

Their Swami debut goes well with the greaser aesthetic of Mr. John Reis (Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes), who recorded the record. The Husbands cover songs by Bo Diddley ("Cadillac"), Carol King ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow") and The Barbarians ("Take it or Leave It"). Their guitars are soaked in layers of cheap reverb, not a bass tone to be found, drums pounding away on deadened skins, vocals more often pinched out with a scream than not - The Husbands play their garage rock with real minimalist chic, and are probably not destined to become media darlings as many of their (sort of) fellow musical tastemakers have.

"That's OK because he likes my dirty mouth," grinds out Sarah on "Dirty Mouth." In a minute and a half, The Husbands have said all they need to say - when they go beyond the two-minute mark, it feels a bit too long. The men that can hang with these women are either puppy dogs or "leaders of the pack" who duly get "ripped to shreds," as evidenced on "We're the Husbands." They are out for blood with a couple of guitars and a trap kit, even as they show their 50's girl group romance on a track like "There Goes My Baby." The Husbands aren't going to lose this game of chicken, so don't get your shirt caught on the wheel when your fraidy-cat ass jumps out the car.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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