Katy Mae, a workaday Brooklyn alt-country band (thought more alt than country, and more classic rock than alt, really) like to count themselves as “new American traditionalists”. Their brand of straight retro rock is on show with their latest EP, You May Already Be a Winner. Following a 2007 debut full-length, this EP leaves little desire for a forthcoming long-player: its songs are similar enough that, by EP’s end, you’re neither disappointed nor excited.
The songs on You May Already Be a Winner, coolly influenced by Bruce Springsteen and other staples of classic rock radio, competently ape fist-pump rock’s forms and melodies without ever establishing much of an individual identity. Philip Doucet’s vocals slide down with that intonation that was distorted and cheapened by alternative 1990s bands like Staind, lending songs like “Two Dollars Late” a conventional familiarity. The music’s not bad—if you heard it on the radio you might even sing along—but over the course of five songs, You May Already Be a Winner falls into predictable rhythms. Katy Mae’s mid-tempo, jangly rock barrels genially forward, propping up otherwise pedestrian material into something just slightly more interesting.