There's nothing duller than a "retro" band. You know the type: decked out in the fashions of some bygone era, carefully assembling each song into a pastiche of genre signifiers, purposefully oblivious to outside influences that could spoil the illusion of their just having stumbled out of a time machine. The Fremonts are most certainly a retro act — their records contain no modern sounds, echoing instead the sticky-fingers R&B and dirty, slinky blues of some obscure Chess single from 1954. But The Fremonts escape the traps of a nostalgia act by focusing on writing killer tunes, like the harmonica- and twangy Telecaster-laden "Grabs Hold It," classic "girl done wrong" blues like "Dogged by Women," and the distorted rave-up "Mighty Crazy," the title track from their album. Sure, the band aims for (and achieves) gritty authenticity, but listening to the band sounds less like a history lesson and more like a party, the perfect soundtrack to the Rhythm Room's New Year's Eve festivities. Price of admission includes a strangely vague "party favor" and a champagne toast at midnight, perfect accompaniment to the greasy boogie The Fremonts will be offering up from the stage.
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