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Thursday, May 22, 2003

Review - Movement

Artist: The Gossip

Posted on Thu, May 22, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Movement
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Movement

Five years from now, when we take stock of the current roots-rock/garage explosion, inevitably people will credit The White Stripes and Jon Spencer as the eminent pioneers, when actually it's bands like Gossip who have driven the genre. Already five-year veterans of the indie-rock circuit and only in their early 20s, Olympia-via-Arkansas upstarts Gossip fuse Germs-era punk precariousness with fractured Mississippi blues riffs to create a sound that's unpredictable yet gut-level accessible on "Movement." And while elements of the group's revved-up "Arkansas Heat" aesthetic still remains, there is a subtle evolution from their previous albums. Vocalist Beth Ditto's bombastic bar-room gospel croon seems more matured and focused this time around, recalling Etta James and Belinda Carlisle equally, while guitarist Nathan Howdeshell and drummer Kathy Mendonca's raucous swagger continue to boil down the Delta blues to its bare-boned basics. Ultimately, everything on "Movement" -- from the slow-burning opener ("Nite") to the Delta-dirge closer ("Light Light Sleep") -- proves how white-bread and goofy the Blues Explosion really is.

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