The Ettes: Danger Is EP

[6 May 2009]

By Stephen Haag

Garage pop trio the Ettes ended 2008 on a high note, landing a spot on Allmusic’s “Favorite Garage Rock Albums of ‘08” with their sophomore disc, Look at Life Again Soon, and leave many of the genre’s followers scrambling to find the record and brad to friends that they’d totally been into the Ettes all along (cough, cough). The band—guitarist/singer Coco, drummer Poni and bassist Jem—has wasted no time this year building on those gains, enlisting new buddy Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) to produce a few tracks for their Danger Is EP, giving new fans a chance to better acquaint themselves with the band’s band of high-octane beat-punk boogie.

The two Auerbach-produced tunes—“No Home” and “Lo and Behold”—pick up where last year’s LP left off: the former all lo-fi skronk with Coco’s come-hither vox and bleating guitar riff, the latter track channeling ’50s female rockabilly chained to a great prickly solo, with both songs checking in near the 3-minute mark. Meanwhile, “Subject” (accent on the second syllable) is a swaggering, welcome carryover from Look at Life, and two live tracks, “The Rules” and “I Heard Tell”, from 2004 and 2008, respectively, show how fully formed the band’s sound was five years ago, with only a subtle shift from blooze to punk.

And since the physical EP is going the way of the dodo, the disc includes three value-added music videos of vary quality and interest for tunes off Look at Life: “Crown of Age”, “I Get Mine” and “Marathon”. And yes, they’re all on YouTube and the band’s website, so take “value-added” with a grain of salt.

Despite being a little light on new material (hence the only-okay grade), if you missed December ‘08’s proclamation that the Ettes were on the fast track to being the Next Big Thing, consider Danger Is your final warning.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/73137-the-ettes-danger-is-ep/