The Realistics - Go Ahead (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Realistics

Go Ahead (2003)


So we're all sick of this supposed "return of the rock" that has been sweeping the nation time and time again. Odds are, you're getting fed up with any band with "The" in their band name. Hives, Vines, Strokes, White Stripes - it's like you're contracting some sort of uncurable disease with each successive band. Chances are that you never want to hear about another band "channeling the Velvet Underground" for at least another 10 years.

But wait! Before you write off this band into your "I've never even heard them and I hate them" pile, I plead with you to reconsider. The Realistics are not part of the B-team of nu-garage bands, each becoming more faceless than the next. Instead, the Realistics come out with guns blazing on this 7 track EP, showing you just who's in charge here.

The band doesn't ape the Strokes [or the VU, for that matter]; they aren't middle-aged men trying to be overly-hip [hello, the Mooney Suzuki]; and they're certainly not trying to summon the ghost of Robert Johnson [Mr. White, I presume]. What they are doing is taking the best parts of old mod bands like the Jam and early works by the Who and blending it up with the catchy organ-pop of early Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello. Think it sounds good? It does.

The rock on here really rocks [see "It's Alright, It's OK"], the slow jams really groove [listen to "Film Star" for proof], and the hooks that are dropped into each one of these 7 gems are enough to reel in enough fish for a small Inuit village for a year.

Okay, so that analogy was kinda weird, but you get my point - this is good shit.

The singing on this EP is top notch - falsettos drop in and out of tracks as easily as air itself, and it really pays off in "Why Didn't You Stay," an upbeat, organ-driven rocker that's over before you have time to even sing along. The band employs 3 of their 4 members as vocalists, which adds to the character of each track.

In a scant nineteen minutes, the Realistics have proved to me that they are the cream of this "garage rock" crop. They're not in this for the money or the chicks - they're in this for the rock. And let me tell you, they rock. Hard.

It's Alright, It's OK

Tiny Avalanches