The Gossip

The Gossip's bassless counterparts, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the White Stripes, favor gritty blues flavored by their urban digs. But this Arkansas-via-Olympia, Washington, trio testifies as if it were at a garage-rock gospel revival fueled by Southern soul. Movement, their second effort, shakes mightily with swampy rumblings from guitarist Brace Paine, whose riffs belch choppily on "Don't Make Waves" and "Gone," and march with an ominous sense of danger on "Night."

Yet the Gossip's main weapon, as it was on the band's 2000 debut, That's Not What I Heard, is the vocal power of Beth Ditto. Her caterwauling is searing, especially on "Night" and the stomping highlight "Fire Sign." Marking time with new-wave handclaps, Ditto's voodoo wails ("What do I gotta do to make it work out?/Do I gotta do?/ Messing around with the fire sign/Can make you feel like the world is after you") could cause even nonbelievers to speak in tongues about her band's fiery energy--and this superlative album.


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