By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Whatever happened to the Pontiac Fiero? Remember? Little sporty car, driven mostly by divorcées?
And whatever happened to The Valentines? In '06 and '07, that band was a Dallas Observer Music Award-winning act in the indie rock category.
The car disappeared from garages—much like the band did, actually. After a legal dispute over its name, The Valentines evolved into The Fieros and, shortly thereafter, moved to New York. The lineup changed some too; Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith took over the kit behind brothers Joey and Aaron McClellan.
And while you can definitely hear a little "garage" in the band's new six-song EP, the band's moved a long way from that pigeonhole. Like on "In My Veins," where the bending, raw direction points more toward an association with The Strokes than, say, The Living Things or The Hives. It's a far braver and more satisfying effort than the standard, dirty exfoliation of garage rock.
Problem is, this crop is the same crop we've been hearing from the band for some time, just slightly rearranged. Lucky for the band, they're not bad songs: The Fieros' good ol' snotty rock is still as enjoyable as it ever was. Really: If The Fieros were a car, it wouldn't be the zippy little Pontiac number for which it's named. No, this band's more like a '69 Camaro that's just fine without wash 'n' wax.