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CD REVIEW: The Histrioniks - Thin
By Chip Withrow - 08/06/2008 - 09:47 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Histrioniks
Album: Thin
Website: http://www.the histrioniks.com
Genre: Alternative Rock
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Shattered Youth, My Blue, Dead Again, Nervous Shakedown
CD Review: Just your usual surf/gypsy/punk/Latin/power pop reverb-drenched joyride – that’s what the Histrioniks take you on with Thin.

The duo of Larry Levy (guitar, percussion, chief songwriter) and bassist Dave Powers provide the sonic oomph, and Cat Levy provides sublimely angsty alto vocals. Think Velvet Underground/Lou Reed grit spiced with X's (or even the Go-Gos') early punky attitude.

“Drama Queen” is a unique, ethereal-yet-insistent opener. Cat’s layered vocals and Larry’s biting guitar are striking. The title cut that follows is a thrashing romp, and then comes a cool twist: the charming, ‘50s girl group-like, almost twangy “My Blue.”

“Shattered Youth” is a blast, almost a sing-along, in spite of (or maybe even due to) the desperate theme. “Dead Again” is powerful – crunchy flamenco guitar building into a big swooping chorus.

“Nervous Shakedown” is a massive shot of power chords, with more delightfully haunting vocals. The urgent “Out Of the In Crowd” is defiant, almost uplifting – and too short. And the biggest, boldest guitar salvo of all is the closing instrumental “Misery (Reprise).”

This is not cheery music – go back and re-read some of the song titles. But the Histrioniks’ Thin is rocking, and often anthemic and beautiful. It is a worthy follow-up to last year’s About This Girl.


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