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Detroit's sweeter garage rock

The Sights

The Sights - The Sights
(Scratchie Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 5, 2005

Review by Tony Bonyata

Although they've been lumped in with garage rocking Detroit brethren such as The Go and The White Stripes, The Sights actually have more in common with classic pop rock than they do with the dirty sounds that have been reverbing out of the Motor City over the last few years.
That's not to say The Sight's don't rock hard, because as this efficient trio - consisting of Eddie Baranek (vocals / guitar), Mike Trombley (drums) and newcomer Bobby Emmett (organ / bass) - proves on their self-titled third full-length release, they're more than capability of making a loud ruckus. From the bluesier stomps of "Just Got Robbed" "Will I Be True?" and "Frozen Nose," along with Baranek's '70s arena rock guitar leads, these guys know how to (as one of Detroit's more famous sons, The MC5, once proclaimed) kick out the jams
But the sweet pop rock of numbers such as the irresistible "Suited Fine," the jaunty "Scratch My Name In Sin," "Waiting On A Friend" and "Baby's Knocking Me Down" showcases this promising act as bright, articulate pop songwriters. In fact, their knack for hammering out one catchy tune after another is, at times, reminiscent of Harry Nilsson, Lennon/McCartney and Cheap Trick in their prime, without ever directly lifting from any of them.
Despite the fact that their opening track "I'm Going To Live The Life I Sing About In My Song" is more than reminiscent of The White Stripes, the band distances themselves from that famous duo, and just about any other rock act for that matter, with Emmett's predominant Hammond organ that adds a wonderful '60s cheese factor to the mix. And it's probably the combination of cheese and good taste in songwriting that originally attracted ex-Smashing Pumpkins' guitarist James Iha enough to sign them to his own label - Scratchie Records.
While this Motor City threesome still has enough 10W-30 grade rock pumping through their veins, they've also got enough sweet rock tunes hopped on sugar and caffeine to make this effort appealing to both fans of down-and-dirty rock & roll and classic '60s AM pop.

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