The Ettes - Danger Is (Take Root)
Huw Jones | Monday, 06 July 2009
Frequently plundered and abused by fickle scenesters intent on wilful desecration for self gain, post-punk should at times be handled with caution. But the transparency of the try-hard cloak offers listener protection, while understanding is only achieved via instinct.
This instinct is perfectly flaunted by New York-born but LA-based The Ettes, who not only have the names to match the image, but such an innate and purposeful swagger that its hard to imagine Coco, Poni and Jem doing anything else but picking up and playing.
New EP Danger Is illustrates just how much potential this three-piece have through the suppressed anger of 'No Home' - not 'the world owes me something' shouty anger, but anger best communicated via stomping bass lines and short, sharp riff-laden combos countered only by a beautifully moulded vocal.
Without dwelling on 'been there, heard that' post-punk similarities, 'Lo And Behold' offers a playfully slack and uncomplicated change of direction while 'Subject' dispenses with expectation and provides welcome validation instead of attempted reinvention.
Rounding off the EP and proving they've got what it takes away from the studio 'The Rules (Live At the Steve Allen Theatre – LA 2004)' and 'I Heard Tell (Live At Arlenes Grocery – NYC 2008)' are a whirlwind of spit, sawdust, distorted reverb and staccato fixtures. More importantly, they're a blowout of authentic urgency that mark The Ettes as a must see live band and ones to keep more than an interested eye on.