Thanks a lot, Jet, the Vines and the Hives. You had to go and burn the country out on garage rock a year before the Strange Boys recorded the most incendiary, exciting Nuggets-appreciative music to come out of Texas, if not the entire freaking United States, in a long time. States Newest Noise Makers isn't just kinda-garage or sorta-garage--the 15-minute EP owes its skeleton to the rebellious, dirty sound that inspired thousands of neurotic vinyl collectors so many decades ago, and the group's encyclopedic grasp of the era is even scarier because two members in the trio are barely 18 years old. Seriously--lead singer and guitarist Ryan Sambol, a guy born in the '80s, is practically outperforming all three previously mentioned bands combined, and if the past is States Newest's skeleton, this kid is its guts. His cat-in-a-blender vocals teeter toward annoyance, but even at their worst, they're a perfect match for his blues-tinged, subtle-yet-squealing guitarwork, which drives earthquake-level chasms of volume and intensity through singles "Modern Lee Miller" and "The Article That Ruined It." The rhythm section props Sambol up as he tears the songs down--brother Philip Sambol anchors the erratic guitars of "Kid With a Gun" with a hard, thudding bassline, and it sounds like drummer Matt Hammer earned his name because of how badly he bruises his drums on this EP. Though Noise Makers won't reach local stores for a few weeks, the trio has already let it loose for free on their Web site, thestrangeboys.com. Grab it now and put it on repeat--be glad the runtime is short, because you'll want to listen again and again.
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The Strange Boys
November 24, 2005 | 4:00am|