With songs like "Take You Home," "Booty Call" and "Baby Say Unh!" you might not expect any grand dynamic shifts on There is a Difference, the Demolition Doll Rods' fourth album. And the randy, garage-blues noogie that's become the trio's trademark definitely takes hold early. The drums dry-hump Danny's guitar, Margaret's id drives everything along, and, for believers, the payoff's on par with sexual release or spiritual awakening. With this band, the pleasure principle is always a prime mover. But maybe there's a difference after all, because it's in their quietest moments that we really discover the Doll Rod world. "Lil' Naked" is almost creepy in its stripped-bare intensity, a reverent background chorus and spidery waver of guitar nudging along Margaret's confession to a lover or someone worse, and "Medley," the closer, feels like gospel fervor melded to a cappella garage rock. And while they cover the Young Lions classic "Open Up Your Door" with a sting and a grin, it's the tumbling, climaxing run through "Amazing Grace" that's best. Washed in the blood of vintage R&B, it aligns the mud, the love and the plead, and proves the Doll Rods reveal the most when you really listen close.
Demolition Doll Rods, May 5, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313- 833-7665; with Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra; 18 and older.
Johnny Loftus is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.