The Willowz, Chautauqua, Dim Mak [3/20/07]
Another line-up change, another label. Not to worry, the Willowz still sound like the Willowz. The Anaheim aggregate still rocks hard, Richie Follin still sings at the top of his range. Hey, it worked for Geddy Lee, it worked for Fred Cole--it worked for Jeffrey Lee Pierce, too. The Willowz may sound more like the White Stripes as a quartet than trios like Rush or Dead Moon, but you get the idea.Guitarist Follin and bass player Jessica Reynoza form the core of the band. As with Chicago's Ponys, a garage-punk group founded by a couple, I'd imagine that these two are an item (Reynoza's always been the only female member). According to their website, Aric Bohn (guitar) and Loren Humphrey (drums) are the new members (Tony Mann fills the drum seat on the disc). As with ex-couple/former Sympathy labelmates the White Stripes, the Willowz also alternate between hard and soft. While the Stripes base their sound in the blues, the Willowz enter country-rock territory when they turn the volume down. At these junctures, Neil Young comes to mind (he likes those high notes, too).