Get On The Beat

The Fame

Independent release, 2005

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


The Fame had one hurdle to get over with me from the start… that uber-cheesy name. Granted, they're basically a high-energy, melodically-conscious garage rock band, so they almost had to be called "The Something"… but really, "The Fame"? I kept looking around for Irene Cara or Debbie Allen, and neither one is anywhere to be found on this disc.

Instead what you get is a power-pop quartet that's obsessed with and descended from such genre luminaries as The Romantics, The Cars, The Go-Gos, The Replacements, The Gin Blossoms, (Tom Petty &) The Heartbreakers, and, well, I guess I'd better just get past the name thing, huh? The more I listen, the more it fits. As the trusty bio sheet says, "Three minute songs. Two guitars. One vision. Seems like a simple enough equation." It is, and it's executed here with steady energy and panache by Reno Bo (vocals & guitars), Ryan Daniels (guitar & vocals), Patrick Wood (drums & vocals) and Alana Amram (bass & vocals).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Title cut "Get On The Beat" starts this disc off on a hot streak, barreling into you on the strength of hammering riffs, big, meaty power-pop hooks and a sing-along chorus. Appealing stuff, all of it, and the only real flaw to this album is that it really is just as simple as that. No keyboards, no strings, no mid-tempo thought pieces or slow dreamy ballads or blues or folk or country inflections anywhere, anyhow -- just a straight six-pack of high-energy, steady-riffing, shout-it-out-loud three-minute rockers.

All right, there is a bare hint of variety. "Come On" slows things down slightly, though it still features prominent, heavy riffs and good vocal intensity. And "Easy On You" is a little more expansive than your average power-pop, what with its nimble guitar solo and instrumental rave-up close.

Still, it all seems a little one-dimensional to me after listening to some of the more adventurous bands out there today… but I suppose it's also refreshing in a way. These guys (and gal) have a mission, and they dive into it with passion and commitment. They're not trying to be anything other than what they are -- a party-in-your-back-yard-after-high-school-gets-out kind of power-pop band. The end result isn't going to change the world, but you can sure as hell dance to it -- and there's nothing wrong with that.

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Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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