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Do You Want Power

The Ettes

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Album Review

The Ettes' third album, Do You Want Power, marks something of a departure for the band. Produced in Nashville by modern-day garage rock hero Greg Cartwright (most recently of the Reigning Sound), the record is their most focused and diverse set to date and widens their garage rock sound without diluting it. Released in 2008, Look at Life Again Soon was produced by Liam Watson to have a very retro-leaning sound relying on Watson's vintage equipment and Joe Meek-influenced style. Cartwright gives Do You Want Power a modern, in-your-face sound with less reverb and more punch. This serves the flat-out rockers like "I Can't Be True" and "Take It with You" well, giving Coco's guitar extra bite and Poni's drums extra kick. Cartwright also adds some vocals and guitar to the mix, as well as co-writing (with bassist Jem) the best song on the album, the sassy "I'll Be Your Lover (But I Can't Be Your Baby)." To match the clean sound of the album, the band turns in remarkably tight and powerful performances that may sacrifice some noise and bluster but gain back loads of power and toughness in the bargain. It's a change in philosophy that makes for a more mature but no less ferocious record. Another positive difference this time out is Coco's more nuanced vocal approach. When she's angry she spits out the words like they are poison; when she's melancholy there's a quiet power in her voice that she hasn't displayed before. In fact, on the album's ballads the bandmembers show a side they have kept hidden before. They've always had slow, melancholy numbers in their repertoire, but this time out they are less beat group-sounding and instead have a Laurel Canyon ("While You're Girl's Away") or psychedelic ("Seasons") feel. The song that ends the album, the piano-and-strings ballad "Keep Me in Flowers," could even be a different band if not for Coco's tear-stained vocals. The production shifts and slight changes in philosophy are interesting, but it all comes down to the songs in the end. Tracks like "No Home," the burning hot "Red in Tooth and Claw," and "Blood Red Blood" (to name a few) are first-rate rockers that stand with the best songs cranked out by any modern-day garage punkers, and Do You Want Power is the band's best work to date.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Serving up a sexy but undeniably fierce mix of pop smarts and garage rock power, the Ettes are vocalist/guitarist Lindsay "Coco" Hames, drummer Maria "Poni" Silver, and bassist Jeremy "Jem" Cohen, a trio of New Yorkers who became Los Angelenos. The band formed in 2004 and soon won a following for its mix of Nancy Sinatra style, Patsy Cline twang, and Stonesy rock. Radio airplay and live shows contributed to the Ettes' buzz, which eventually led to the group signing with Sympathy for the Record Industry....
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Do You Want Power, The Ettes
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