Music » Livewire

Easy Action/Reigning Sound

With 25 Suaves. Tuesday, September 16, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Yes, Easy Action is yet another raw rock band from Detroit. But the only "garage" singer John Brannon's voice ever parked in was some junk-parts pit stop off the banks of the River Styx. After fronting the monster-shock blues of the Laughing Hyenas through the early '90s, Brannon resurfaced with Easy Action a few years ago, nightmarish scream intact; after all these years, he still bellows with hurricane wind and pitchfork-up-rectum horror. Separate him from this equation, though, and Easy Action is pretty much your standard Tigertown riff-rock machine.

Despite oodles of indie cred and a lunar-level Brit-press cool quotient, the Reigning Sound is a fairly standard setup too. Classic Beatles and Beach Boys hooks, doo-wop melodies, and Stonesy raggamuffing are the well-worn touchstones here. But singer Greg Cartwright's songwriting is so strong, his choice of covers so cunning, and his cracking pipes so emotionally affecting that the band's records play as a true spit-shine for older fans, an eye-opener for green hipsters who never heard it this good. And if it all still comes off a little bar-bandish live, go easy on Cartwright; he may still be recovering from the torrid blues-punk twister of the Oblivians, his previous band, which pretty much kick-started this whole neo-garage trend back in the mid-'90s.

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