Detroit's always been a rockin' city, right? Sure, or else there wouldn't have been that song "Detroit Rock City" penned long ago by fashionable men in greasepaint. And well, since it seems that everyone wants to wave the "Rock Is Back" banner thanks to the new glut of supposed rock and rollers currently cluttering up the MTV airwaves, we might as well talk about the rock, too. Not that we usually don't. But I'd like to just go ahead and throw my two cents in about the whole revival and mention a band that deserves the attention just as much as any of those other groups.
You may have already peeped at The Paybacks. Entertainment Weekly ran a review of Knock Loud in their August issue. That's no mean feat, right? Indie label rock band gets the nod in the big mag. Kudos to them. But hey, I'm going give this group more than a paragraph's worth of mention that also included a nod to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs over at EW. The bottom line is you must go purchase Knock Loud as soon as you can.
Now with that out of the way, the brass tacks shall follow. The Paybacks are a rockin' four-piece from Detroit that crank up the amps and cut out the tear jerking fat that other groups trying to be noteworthy of late often sprinkle their albums with just to get the bid for sensitivity. Hell, did the Stooges over get sensitive? Of course not. And one gets a similar vibe from these guys. Well, these guys and a most rocking lead gal by the name of Wendy Case. Yes, she plays guitar and sings! But it's not a gimmick. Case has what it takes to hit you with a brutal tune and drag you along into the mud, making sure you enjoy every last moment of it. The rest of the group, comprised of Marco Delicato on guitar, Mike Latulippe on drums, and John Szymanski on bass, make sure you hear their parts loud and clear as well. Yes, The Paybacks are a fully operational band. Can you dig it?
Delivering a sonic assault that's just downright dirty, The Paybacks offer up a classic dose of 10 tracks that push you through the door of you local favorite watering hole, rock you across the floor boards, and kick your ass out the back, allowing you to catch your breath and piss in a way that will leave you wanting more. And when I say dirty here, I mean it. The production is classic trashy. Lots of fuzzy guitars, Case's gritty singing, and plenty of tribal bashing ensue while the whole sound reverberates and shakes your bones. Oh yeah, you'll remember what it was like to rock and roll long ago. And if this is your first time being rocked, then you couldn't have found a better band to throw you down and kick your ass.
Plus the band has the right attitude when it comes to rocking. These aren't some rich poseurs who do the rock band act on the side just because their families had enough cash in the bank to afford it. No, The Paybacks are as real as your best pal on a late night throwing down cases of brew with you. The Paybacks would like to join you in that imbibing, too. Loud and nasty, with just the right touch of rocking accessibility, you'll be throwing down to Knock Loud in no time at all. So get that liquor cabinet open and the beers nice and frosty, 'cause you'll want to crank this one loud when enjoying your favorite beverage.
And about those songs. Wow. Where to begin? One of the best here is "If I Fell", that starts out sounding like it's going to be a power ballad, but no! The pretty little intro soon falls prey to the raging guitars and Wendy Case's powerful belting that truly makes you feel tough all over. It's but one tune in a bevy of rock that doesn't let up. From the opening "Just You Wait" that will absolutely tear your speakers to shreds to the funky ass bravado of "Black Girl" and the hell-bent "Blackout", nothing misses here. The righteous "Thin Air" mixes beautifully with the all-out bombast and tasty sleaze of "Tie Me in a Knot". Then there's the brutal "Hot Shot" which takes no prisoners and gleefully destroys with noise.
Knock Loud is a glorious exclamation of everything that is true about rock and roll. Loudness, attitude, solid beats, groovy lyrics. It's all here. If you miss the boat on this one, rock lovers, then there may be no hope at all. Tune your ears to The Paybacks and just let it all hang out. This isn't phony rock for the Skyy Blue sipping hipsters. This is for the people who still feel the need to get trashed and nasty on the weekends before getting their sit together Monday morning. But there's nothing wrong with a little attitude during the week, either. Now go grab this album and cut loose. Remember what it felt like to be wild once again.