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Youthful, modern fury

Louis XIV

Louis XIV - The Best Little Secrets Are Kept
(Atlantic Records)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 20, 2005

Review by Andy Argyrakis

The roots of Louis XIV date back to members' time in Convoy, a talented but overlooked group of rowdy alt-rock revelers who seemed to get the short end of the major label stick. Thankfully for singer Jason Hill, guitarist Brian Karscig and drummer Mark Maigaard, the buzz has been much better for their latest band, branching beyond San Diego origins and landing somewhere between the waning garage rock revival and the rising glam rock faze. Scoring self-released EP success led to time throughout America on tour with The Killers and eventually a deal with Atlantic Records.
From the first moment of the gang's official debut The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, it's obvious they're direct cross-pollinated disciples of T. Rex, any of the outrageous 70s Brit rockers and even hints of stateside southern fried rock. It's an intriguing assault that makes for one hell of a variety filled effort, including the debauchery drenched "Finding Out True Love Is Blind," the basement barker "Paper Doll" and the punkish power of "God Killed the Queen." "A Letter To Dominique" takes on a more melodic, sunshiny motif, while the testosterone kicks back in with full force on the "Illegal Tender."
The guys are also so bold as to name a track after themselves (simply called "Louis XIV"), which is grimy enough to evoke the potent aroma of a sweat stained club filled with decades of smoky build-up on graffiti-filled walls. "Pledge of Allegiance" also falls along those authentic lines, carried by Hill's teasing vocals and psychedelic guitar spurts that would make Iggy Pop proud. That delightful drug induced retro approach resurfaces on "Hey Teacher," booming with harmonies and comfort zone busting distortion. When putting all of those elements together, The Best Secrets Are Kept is indeed laden with quality-filled consistency that bridges worthwhile nostalgic influences with a youthful, modern fury likely to be admired by the defiant generations to come.

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