Detonations - Static Vision (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Static Vision (2004)


There's just as little innovation in the bare bones garage punk genre as there is in any other, but it's always benefited from a more solid foundation of influences than many of the more popular mutations punk rock's taken in the past few years. It's disconcerting to see half the records that cross my doorstep citing (either in sound and shamelessly on their own press sheets) the popular emo band from a year ago as their guiding light. So to have one foot in the Stooges, another in the Sonics and a head full of raunchy blues standards just seems like a better recipe for genuine rock'n'roll, so I find I cut bands in this group some slack even if they tend to ape their influences rather shamelessly.

While New Orleans three piece Detonations certainly fits in this group in terms of songwriting, their sound is unique enough to set them apart from the pack. It's partly due to their setup, which is pretty unique in itself. John Henry's guitar has two bass strings on it, so the lack of a proper bass player isn't very evident in the recording (in fact most of the time it sounds like there's a bassist very closely following the rhythm). The setup obviously gives the low end more pronunciation and adds to the grit in the band's noise. Julien Fried's a fan of vintage pickups so his own rig is a patchwork of parts from various sources. "re-wired microphonic guitars thru Fuzz" if that means anything to you. The end result's a sea of distortion and a really unique tone. Detonations' low end, between drop D tuned songs and Keith Herrera's prominent bass drum, is simply huge. On top of all this both Henry and Fried sing in a very cool monotone that really wouldn't be out of place coming from the late 70s NYC crowd.

Jerry Teel did a truly commendable job of capturing this sound and gave Static Vision a solid live feel. His work with Boss Hog, Demolition Doll Rods, The Honeymoon Killers and similar acts certainly makes him the appropriate man for the job. Static Vision only really falters due to a lack of dynamics later in the record. The band's sound, once established, doesn't really throw you any curves and the latter portion of the album is less attention grabbing then it could have been.

The critics are namedropping Crime quite a bit when trying to describe Static Vision, so take that and run with it. Fans of the recent output of Swami, Bomp, or Gearhead will most definitely dig this. Groovy, danceable, dirty as all hell rock'n'roll.


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