October 29, 2005

Katy Mae "The Lightning and the Sun"

Very rare is it that I will compare a band to REM, and when I do, it's often not a favorable comparison. But after listening to The Lightning and the Sun, the debut EP by New York's Katy Mae, I have to rethink that policy. It's safe to say that the three fellows of Katy Mae have a soft spot for the rootsy music of the mid to late 1980s, most specifically REM and Uncle Tupelo. Katy Mae's music is so contemporary with that era, they sound as if theyjust mysteriously appeared out of 1985.

Though The Lightning and the Sun is quite brief, it's not devoid of strength. Lead singer Phil Doucet sings with a pained yelp that instantly reminds of vintage Michael Stipe, and drummer Mark Levy and bassist Brad Hill provide a powerful crunch to his pop stylings. Whether it's the country-rock ramblings of "The Brightest Star" or the jangling guitars on "Whirlwind," or the rolling bass on "I Could Crush You With The Weight of My Heart," the band's power is quite obvious, and it's damn near impossible to fall hard for this little band. Don't believe me? Well, if you still have your doubts, then don't listen to the powerful "Safe and Sound."

Katy Mae's a great young band with a great sound, and The Lightning and the Sun is a wonderful (but too damn brief) EP. Bring on that full length, boys!

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.katymaemusic.com
Label Website: http://www.maggadee.com

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