Detroit Cobras, Willowz

Garage rock, whether the vintage or contemporary strain, is mostly a boys' club, a testosterone-fueled rave-up of vocal wails and crazy guitar runs. But the ladies dig the sound as well — and can play it. You might not want to bring singer Rachel Nagy and guitarist Mary Ramirez of Motown's Detroit Cobras home to mom, but new '60s covers album Tied & True sounds like they're more than ready for a good time. Instead of rehashing Nuggets yet again, the Cobras dig deep into stuff oldies radio would never touch: sterling R&B by writers like Jerry Ragovoy and Little Willie John. Although Nagy's distinctive voice is hit-and-miss with their original material, here she impressively runs the gamut between slinky and raucous. Anaheim's Willowz have only one lady in the lineup — bassist/vocalist Jessica Reynoza — but their fuzzy psychedelia is fresh and accessible. Though it's not where their strengths lie, Willowz veers into slower, more bluesy epic balladry on new album Chautauqua, with vocalist/guitarist Richie James Follin's high-ranged voice recalling a combination of Skip James and Jack White. An interesting double bill of grime and sunshine.


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