Forget the Power Trio. That band formation is now passé. Today, the still more minimalist Garage Duo (the White Stripes, the Black Keys, the Raveonettes) reigns, and there's even a subgenre of romantically involved GDs. With the release of their stripped-down debut, The White Belt Is Not Enough, you can add California's Moggs to that burgeoning group. This record's been a long time coming -- the pseudonymed and married guitarist Sir Plus and drummer Miss Minor have been banging away (on music, that is) for a decade. The album's raw, bare-bones tunes seem purposefully disjointed -- Plus and Minor fly off into their own directions for a cacophonic and energetic result. In particular, Minor's drumming, which dominates the record, is filled with frenetic bursts. (She makes up for numerous technical shortcomings with the sheer force of rock she exudes.) Unfortunately, neither Mogg can sing very well, which is probably why the vocals are buried in the mix. This is also a record that screams for more instrumental tracks -- the ones on this album are a real strength since the Moggs' lyrics are fairly rote. Ultimately, they've got a ways to go before catching up artistically with the other GDs.
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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero