Getting a track on Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t generally make one think that a band is going to be particularly interesting. There’s no doubt TV show licensing is a large and growing source of revenue for musical artists in these days of dwindling CD sales and rampant file trading. Yet, there’s something a little sad about the bald recognition of artists as business brands like any other type of product brand that has a saleable identity (or not, as the case may be) and licensing extensions. Perhaps perceptions are slowly changing in the face of new millennium business realities, but this sort of thing used to smell of “sell-out” once upon a time. That background is there when you encounter Alamo Race Track, a Dutch band with a massive recognition due to that Grey’s Anatomy spot and some 500,000 views to date on YouTube of a dressing room, impromptu performance of catchy, surefire hit “Black Cat John Brown”. Fortunately, this band has a lot more going for it than a single pop song. Somewhere between the sound of Sparklehorse and the poppier end of Gomez, with a bit of the Byrds’ jangle pop thrown in for good measure, Alamo Race Track serve up 12 varied and addictive tunes on their follow-up to 2003’s Birds at Home.
Alamo Race Track - Live concert including Black Cat John Brown