Flaming Sideburns 

Save Rock 'n' Roll

You've gotta feel sorry for garage rock bands like the Flaming Sideburns, suffering at the hands of a fad listened to through distorted perceptions and expectations. Everything exists in a certain time and space and, contrary to current marketing trends, now is neither the right time nor space for aspiring garage acts. Once a band is deemed the latest trend, it's instantly accused of either exploiting the popularization of that genre or attempting to pass off unoriginal, copycat tunes merely to participate in the hyped-up movement. But just because a band is making music that is gobbled up like free candy by the mainstream does not mean the music the band is making is lame. Yep, garage rockers today get dumped into a category, and Finland's Flaming Sideburns are among the victims.

Though the band's debut, Save Rock 'n' Roll, is a bit cocksure and not one-of-a-kind original, it's still excellent -- slow enough to groove to, but heavy enough to rock out. Capturing a very '60s jangly feel, the Flaming Sideburns manage to escape feeling too retro. Gritty, hard, and led by distorted scream-singing that sounds like it's coming from the back room, the album is too heavy to be as spastic as the Hives and too melodic and edgy to be as droning as the Hellacopters.

Not all garage rock bands are good. But please remember: Just 'cause garage happens to be in fashion doesn't mean it's all bad, either.


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