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Mystery Girls - Incontinopia LP
In The Red Records
White boys have been messing with the blues ever since Elvis got an invite to the Sun Records studio in 1954, and Wisconsin's the Mystery Girls are only the latest in a long and seemingly unending line of bands who've made it their business to put a new fire under a style older than Coca-Cola. But if the Mystery Girls' vision is more Blues Explosion than Stovall's Plantation, there's a powerful snarl to this music that speaks to the roots of it even as they beat their cheap guitars and rattletrap drums into submission, and they've put it on tape with commendable power on their third full-length album, Incontinopia. While guitarists Mount Mathieu D'Congo and Jordan Davis kick up an impressive ruckus on this set as bassist Michael Zink and drummer Jamis Kipp throw crash 'n' bash rhythms in all directions, it's Casey Grajek's vocals and harmonica that really tell the tale; the guy ain't quite Little Water, but he can blow well enough to bring the bluesy undertow to the surface and let it jump and shout, and he's a rock & roll belter with power and grimy soul to spare. Dig the garage-centric stomp of "I Took the Poison," the free skronk hoodoo of "First Stage of Love," the Stones-influenced rolling thunder of "Oh! Apollo," the raw and frantic charge through "We're So Illegal" and "Cool It in Control," and the electronic free association of "Cold Feet" and you'll hear a cold shot of blues at the heart of them all, no matter how far out on a ledge these guys take the music. Incontinopia is a liberating blast of noise with some real history deep down amongst the chaos.