Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Ezra Reich-Milkshake Arcade

December 1, 2006

ezrareichBand Name: Ezra Reich

Album Name: Milkshake Arcade

Best Element: Excellent vocal performances

Genre: New-wave

Website: www.ezrareich.com

Label Name: Common Cloud Records

Band E-mail: milkade1@aol.com

Taking one look at the cover of Ezra Reich’s new album Milkshake Arcade, it’s clear that the artist is going for a classic pop sound. But while pink milkshakes may immediately conjure up the thought of sixties soda fountains, the album itself is concerned with a later generation’s pop nostalgia: late-seventies new wave.
Much of Milkshake Arcade sounds like David Bowie in his Thin White Duke period covering tunes from the Cars. It’s a winning formula, with songs like the opener “Supergirl (My Daughter)” and “The Answer” floating along effortlessly on breathy come-ons and stabbing pop/funk guitar. Tracks like these and the delicious doo-wop of “Walking in Circles” put most of today’s ubiquitous second-generation new wave acts to shame. Not everything works so well (“Got 2 Me” and “On and On” succumb to their clever sounds and forget to present a worthy melody), but the majority of the album is strong. Not only that, but it feels very authentic. Step back in time twenty-five years and these songs would fit in just fine. “Inside the Box” and “I Need a Moment Alone” in particular sound like long lost classics.
Much of the credit goes to Reich’s vocal performance: a mix of classic rock attitude and throaty cabaret. Even when the songs don’t quite measure up, Reich is always captivating. The same can certainly be said for Milkshake Arcade. It takes a revivalist trend that’s so completely dominant at this point in history and stretches it until it sounds like nothing else out there right now. B

-Nick James

jamesn65@gmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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