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Vue, 6.5/10
Find Your Home, 5/10
Down For Whatever (2003), 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

The Audience were a San Francisco glam-punk band that put out only an album, Audience (Hymnal Sound, 1997), and a single, Young Soul/ Voyeurs (GSK, 1998), before disbanding. They were reborn as the Vue with the EP The Death Of A Girl (GSL, 1999). The album Vue (Subpop, 2000) shows the final stage of the caterpillar's unfolding.
The crude double-guitar assault of Rex John Shelverton and John Buffa harks back to 1960s garage-rock and to the Stooges' wall of noise. Suicide-like keyboard touches, courtesy of a Jessica Ann Graves, weave an unnerving atmosphere around the electrofying rock and roll riffs. Shelverton's vocals (a rant halfway between Alan Vega's zombie trance and Iggy Pop's wild lust) exhale overdoses of angst and rage. If White Traffic is standard rave-up fare, some of the songs are worth of the classics: Girl rocks with the suspenceful hypnosis and the violent mood swings of Alan Vega's and Jim Morrison's dark psychodramas. In the heydays of the new wave this would have been considered a masterpiece. The loud and solemn howl of Angel's Alright, or the fuzzed-out rock and roll of Cotton Kisses, roam similar terrain. Between the lines, it is not difficult to track down shades of Gun Club's hardcore blues (The Shame), of Devo's cartoonish pantomimes (Talk To A Model), and of the Cramps' voodoo rock (We Were Here). Surprisingly, when the band lets go, namely in the instrumental Her Moods, what pours out is a more than respectable psychedelic epic. In a similar vein, the dilated ballad Madame Whore grazes acid-rock grandeur.
Half of the album is exciting, pulsating, captivating. Another half is intriguing because of clever experimentation on the genre. A third half... should not have been there.

The faster songs on the 31-minute mini-album Find Your Home (Subpop, 2001) find the band in top form, playing good noise with just a stronger blues accent. Hitchhiking is a devilish shuffle a` la U2's Desire, and a similarly satanic pace propels Child For You. Picture Of Me boasts a cascading riff a` la Rolling Stones' It's All Over Now. People On The Stairs has an equally Stones-ian, grossly epic verve. The slow numbers fare a lot worse, and betray a somewhat amateurish technique at the instruments.

Babies Are For Petting (RCA, 2003) is a five-song EP that proves the band's mediocrity. The album Down For Whatever (RCA, 2003) is simply an extension of the dejavu feeling of the EP.

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