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A couple of years ago in this very space, yours truly genuflected before L.A.-based girl-guy act the Dagons, citing third album Teeth For Pearls' psychedelic brand of garage and Bad Seeds-esque noir-pop as evidence that this was more than just another post-White Stripes guitar 'n' drum act. True, the Dagons have been likened in some quarters to a Bizarro-World White Stripes; that's real-life couple Karie Jacobson in the Jack role and Drew Kowalski as Meg. But on the new long-player, the duo's closer to a stripped-down Bizarro-World Velvet Underground. It's hard to miss that primeval VU thud on tunes such as the distorto, "White Heat"-ish title track or "How to Get Through the Glass," which adds some vintage Blondie and a touch of "Secret Agent Man" to an already potent brew. "In Gingham," with its creaking, opiated modal-drone arrangement, is like "Venus In Furs" sung by Nico. Also present is some Cramps-y punkabilly ("Planchettes Half-apes" — love that title), and a pair of experimental, avantish noise interludes (the nightmarish synthscape of "Scylla" is pure Martin Rev-Suicide, and the lo-fi huff 'n' twang of "Panic In The Snake House" — another great title — recalls the deconstructionist aesthetic of honorary Noo Yorkers Panther Burns). Come to think of it, this is just about the best '70s-era NYC record I've heard since, well, the '70s.

Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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