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Askew Review 15

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THE UNIDENTIFIED- Secret Audio Suspense (Site) I can totally picture me and my pseudo-hip office worker pals (me- I’m not even a little hip) going out after work, getting blasted, seeing this band play live and appreciating their spy movie/surf shtick.  Of course, I’d be blabbing away and only half paying attention throughout, but after the set I’d drunkenly glad-hand them, buy Secret Audio Suspense from one of their wives at the merch table, go home, do barely remembered unmentionable things and then pass out.  In my hangover fog the next morning, I’d pop this disc in, expecting to be catapulted into the revelry of the night before. The retro spy groove of opener “Get the Shoe Phone!” would make me mildly pleased that I’d spent my last 8 bucks (crumpled and damp, but with bourbon, not pee- I swear) on this CD.  But as my headache kicks in, things start going downhill.  The shrieking vocals on “The El Paso Matter” and “The Glomar Express,” not really noticeable the previous night due to a bad P.A., make me wish all 6 songs on this EP- instead of just 4 of them- were instrumentals.  And the energy The Unidentified had (in my fictional) live (setting) seems to be missing on these recordings.  Don’t get me wrong- nothing here sucks (well, maybe the vocals do, but they could get a different singer or decide not to sing at all), but this release ain’t doin’ it for me. These guys definitely aren’t in The Ventures’ or Link Wray’s league (though to be fair, who is, really?), but I bet they’d probably still be fun to see live. –Ben Hunter

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