- The Mooney Suzuki
New York City's Mooney Suzuki has been at the forefront of the garage revival since the late '90s, quickly building a rep for high-octane guitar that blends the swagger of the New York Dolls and '70s Stones with the blue-collar muscle of Michigan legends such as the Stooges, MC5, and Grand Funk Railroad. (It's probably no coincidence that the cover art of the Mooney Suzuki's second record completely rips off the latter's 1970 effort Grand Funk. )
The Mooney Suzuki's two releases to date, 2000's People Get Ready and 2002's Electric Sweat, are stone classics of the genre, faithfully capturing the raw energy of the band's legendary live performances. The group's forthcoming album on Columbia, Alive & Amplified, is a bit of a departure, produced, oddly enough, by the Matrix, which is known for its work with mainstream acts such as Avril Lavigne and Liz Phair. While that pairing sounds disastrous on paper -- especially considering that Electric Sweat was produced by Detroit lo-fi legend Jim Diamond -- the Mooney Suzuki largely succeeds here, adding some nice pop and soul touches to the rock-and-roll mix on the likes of "Loose 'n' Juicy," "Legal High," and the excellent ballad "Sometimes Something."