Title: Santa Marias
Catalogue Number: No catalogue number
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007
The Santa Marias hail from New York and comprise of Mitzi Dodge, Betsy Todd and Palmyra Delran. They take an unpretentious and no nonsense approach to their music with punk and new wave influences looming large, from the Ramones to Iggy and on to those wonderfully raw edged vocals of the early Blondie albums. This is music with a vitality that jumps up and slaps you around until you give it the attention it deserves.
The opening track, "Out of Control", is arguably the highlight of the album with a thumping drum beat that picks you and carries you along in a frenzy of angst ridden ire. "Favorite Jeans" on the other hand has a bit more of a pop sound, although it still retains a punkish aggression at its core; while "Trip and Fall" is the most subtlety melodic of the album to the point of almost being understated.
With "Wasted" we have a perfect blend of radio friendly hooks coupled with a just-under-the-surface independent attitude that gives it a dangerous, yet not too dangerous, feel and sound that makes it the song most likely to succeed from a commercial standpoint. "New Boyfriend" is another highlight, combining great harmonies over a driving beat to create a wonderfully rough edged piece of garage pop. Of the others "Crying all the Time" somehow succeeds in combining new wave cynicism with 60's innocence, and "Not the Only One" is virtually undiluted 'essence of Ramone'.
This is music in the raw with no attempt to smooth out the rough edges. And if truth be told, we would all be better off if more music were made this way.
September 29, 2007
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