Smooth rock sounds of Garageland make an entrance on likable Last Exit

Rattaya Nimibutr

Staff Writer

Concert

Preview

Rock fans are easily entertained. Put together about three or four people that can string a couple of guitars, bang the drums and, finally, have someone breathe into a microphone. Voila! A band is born. They may or may not get a gig, but at least the fans have another rock outfit to ponder for the next 15 minutes.

New Zealand breeds Garageland, and its debut album Last Exit to Garageland falls squarely into that case. Don't turn away yet, though - this one is worth considering.

Named after an old Clash song, the four-man band is already a household name to students in London, with hit singles like "Fingerpops" and "Come Back." With those two tracks already in the Brit's top 20 college stations, the rest of the tracks should be given fair earplay as well.

The album has that garage sound down pat, yet there's the loose, easy flow of rock. Garageland proves it isn't hard to sound like big-name bands such as Green Day or Smashing Pumpkins, but these guys definitely establish their own style.

"Never Gonna Come Around Here Again" dances over the edge, and "Tired And Bored" spins some clever musical arrangements within a steady, straightforward beat. The entire album intertwines the melodic tracks into one charming ride you won't want to leave anytime soon.

The flawless pop numbers "Beelines to Heaven" and "Return To You" exhibit an exceptional direction, making it hard not to like Garageland. It all leaves you curious as to what else they can offer during a live show.

The soundbite in "Classically Diseased" is tense yet comforting, as is "Fire Away." Lead singer Jeremy Eade crackles and pops with his guitar into a full-on rage of manic energy.

Garageland ends its debut with a comedic fancy approach in "Fay Ray." The four-piece sound gathers more tightly in "I'm Looking For What I Can't Get" and lastly "Pop Cigar," showcasing the witty personalities of these four guys.

A favorite in their hometown, a fast pick in London and now a sacrifice for acclamation in the U.S., Garageland can count on those who want to hear more and know more. But who really cares, as long as their music is a better companion than Chumbawamba.

Garageland takes the stage tonight with Imani Coppola and Spacehog at the Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Ave. Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $8. Call (713) 629-3700 for more information.

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