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No Respect

Trish and Darin: The band you love to hate?

Darin will tell you that Elvis Costello and Andy Partridge are his prime inspirations for lyrics and music, respectively. He'll tell you that bootlegs of early live Police provided the spark that drove him to want to play, and that R.E.M. is a big fave. But you could just as well tell him the same thing, so obvious are the derivations. Not that T&D lift wholesale from their influences, but they so easily assimilate them that all of the group's songs come out sounding like what's left on the cutting-room floor after an XTC recording session. There is, also, still a scent of mimicry in their vocals. It's probably just a holdover from the cover-tune days, but when Darin delivers a Michael Stipe dead ringer or Trish adopts a faux Brit lilt, it's tempting to hit Stop and go digging through the LP collection for the genuine article. You could call it the Lenny Kravitz syndrome: too dependent on their influences to stand alone.

On the other hand, it's that ability to pen tunes that blend in with the company of classic-rock favorites that has allowed Trish and Darin to make the rare transition from cheesoid cover band to performers of original music. It's a direction showing pop promise in the rest of Texas, even if Houston has already made up its mind.

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