Alibi V.12 No.48 • Nov 27-Dec 3, 2003 

Music Article

The Star Spangles with special guests

Thursday, Nov. 27; Atomic Cantina (21 and over, 9 p.m.)

The Star Spangles, weighing in at a combined total of 216 pounds
The Star Spangles, weighing in at a combined total of 216 pounds

There are plenty of bands made up of emaciated, ratty haired boys (and sometimes a girl named Karen O) in skinny ties and high-waters rehashing '70s garage and post-punk these days to more acclaim than most of them probably deserve. But none of them manage to balance their drunken swagger and snobbery with matching power chords and simple, no-frills shout-rock as well as New York City's Star Spangles.

The Star Spangles are just as derivative as the Strokes, the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and the White Stripes, but they cleverly cop the pop sensibilities of '70s should-have-beens like Cheap Trick and Hoodoo Gurus, and legendarily whiskey soaked college rock icons the Replacements and paste them sloppily into Ramones-like tri-chord anthems. There are, of course, hints of the Stooges and Flamin' Groovies as well, but the Star Spangles play their slacker/loser roles more convincingly than many of their peers, and their songs are between three and seven times better than anything on the new Strokes record.