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Hip Check!

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Album Review

By 2001, the Come Ons had yet to capture the cool sensuality of their live shows on disc. Luckily, Hip Check came strutting out of the Motor City that fall, offering a groovy slice of indie garage that owes more to the swinging soundtracks of '60s B-movies more than any Stooges record. Jim Diamond's crisp production fosters the hipster atmosphere around the disc, while also capturing the excitement that the band can often produce. Creating a sultry tension through slow-burning tracks like "Heavy" while alternately letting that tension deflate with booty-shaking dance songs, the band keeps its distinct personality through every musical turn. Hinging on the tight guitar licks of Jim Johnson and lush organ solos from a revolving group of guest musicians, the instrumentals prove to enhance the band's pert brassiness. Meanwhile, the tracks featuring singer Deanne Iovan deliver engaging tales of love and lust with aplomb, never succumbing to the "too cool for school" attitude of many garage rock revivalists. Highlights include the smooth kiss-off anthem "Something Fool," the horn-based groove of "Keep the Change," the crawling delicacy of "Strangelove," and the winding wiggle of the title track. And in the end, the boozy, lovelorn "Dollar in My Pocket" sends the listener off with a strikingly honest attempt at a traditional country ballad. In less than 30 minutes, the band charms the listener with a likable sound that fits in well with their saucy image. It may not fit with the brash rock & roll of their Michigan contemporaries, but the attitude is pure Detroit, and the music is much easier to dance to.


Formed: Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Come Ons emerged in 1999 featuring ex-Gore Gore Girl Deanne Iovan on bass, vocals, and vintage organ, guitarist Jim Johnson, and Dirtbombs drummer Patrick Pantano doing double duty behind the Come Ons' kit. While their dance-y, soul-inspired grooves were an immediate sensation in Detroit, the band didn't debut on wax immediately. First there was 2000's "Watcha Got?" 7" for Sympathy for the Record Industry, followed soon after by an eponymous full-length for the label. A year later, the trio contributed...
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Hip Check!, The Come Ons
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