steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"The White Cube" CD

Underground Sounds Records

Genres: garage rock, indie rock

Jan 26 - Feb 1 2004

You're going to have to face it - Conner sounds like The Strokes.  They sound like The White Stripes.  They sound like The LibertinesConner plays what we all like to call "garage rock revival," and they've got it down to a tee, even using vintage recording and playing gear to add to the old-fashioned sound (just like the White Stripes did on Elephant, nonetheless.)  Predictably, those who enjoy the familiar Strokes-y garage rock sound will probably find a lot to enjoy in The White Cube; those who never liked the trend will likely find themselves similarly dissatisfied with this.

The songs on this album all sound pretty similar, despite some strong recording-style variations (meaning some tunes are much louder than others, and have different recording 'textures'), but vary in melodic effectiveness.  The two top 'singles' are "Easy" and "Tuesday," which are extremely enjoyable rock numbers, even though they sound as if they came straight off of Is This It.  Some of the other tunes can drag a bit, but for the most part Conner's high energy, hook-filled formula works well.

I like the fact that Conner seems to employ a sound much more faithful to garage rock than some of the other recent revivalists.  Pure Nuggets and Pebbles influences are present in tunes like "Have You Ever Been Asleep" and "On the Ground", much moreso than the less obvious ones found in Strokes and Hives records of yesteryear.

The White Cube is a terrific album for garage rock revival fanatics, and is very successful in its accessibility.  Recommended, if you like the sort of thing.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]