Author: Matt Schild
02/04/2009 | | | Album Review
Classic rock's got a lot of attention lately, and not just from the usual crowd of blue-collar types jamming out the oldies at the job site. We've seen a bevy of indie acts take up the call and return to the boogie-woogie rock roots that they grew up listening to. We've heard almost as many hare-brained stories about those acts' glorious plans to save rock from that unnamed disaster that's metaphorically been ready to destroy it -- at least in the minds of nervous rock critics -- for the past 30 years.

Ladyfinger (ne) is certainly a band that's familiar with the basic rock canon. Its sophomore effort, Dusk is about a firmly entrenched in the rock traditions of stomping rhythms, mid-paced, anthemic tunes and those classically enabled riffs stuffed full of sexual grooves. It's classic rock at its most classic.

Without dipping too deeply in the well of any of its predecessors, Dusk wants to rock, and rock hard. "Little Things" combines a slowly smoldering lead riff with the controlled rumble of a born arena-rock outfit; cultured melodies link it to the always-fashionable back catalog of Bruce Springsteen without tempting hero worship. "Work Party" cranks up the tempos, finding a spot that's halfway between garage punk energy and early-'70s rock. "Plans" incorporates the slightest hint of country-rock overtones (thanks again, '70s), and "Over and Over" juggles shades of Zeppelin and Sabbath without getting too lost down the hard-rock rabbit hole.

As much as Ladyfinger (ne)'s DNA is tied to rock's former glories through timeless riffs and long-term vision in its songwriting, it doesn't get caught up in rescuing rock'n'roll, mostly because it never seems too tied to its past. Where other classic-rock bands proudly wear their rather limited influences on their sleeves, Ladyfinger (ne) dresses itself. Sure, the call of rock's glory days weigh heavily in the band's songs, but there's no looking back. Ladyfinger (ne) devours its past and uses it for fuel to keep rock moving forward. Things don't have to change radically to stay fresh in Dusk's world. Bands just need to stay hungry.

As tempting as it is to tie Ladyfinger (ne) into the latest class of rock's saviors, that's just plain silly. The style can live or die for all the band cares. It has all it needs preserved in its latest album.


CD / MP3