by Hobey Echlin
Holy shit! Ann Arbor represents — and then heads to Bushwick, Brooklyn, to do it all over again! Awesome Color is the awesome ace-deuce trio that can channel the ghosts of the Stooges and MC5 without sounding like big-muffed necrophiliacs. On the opener, "Eyes of Light," singer Derek Stanton, bassist Michael Troutman and drummer allison bausch (the latter the most impressive tomboy drummer since Moe Tucker) update the sublime omnipotence of the Stooges' fuzzy drone by jacking it up a beat so effen-spazzy, it's more like a crazy ragga-jungle breakbeat than a rock 4:4. It's akin to the snare-happy beat of "I Wanna Be Your Dog," but sprouting even more limbs.
The rest of the disc isn't as frenetic (how could it be?). But AC finds its sonic language in the '70s power-fuzz full-lunged blues and vocals while trying to speak it in their own, less-obvious dialect. The results are mixed. "Step Up" is downright Raconteur-ish, with its heavy-drop power pop and organ spikes, while "Taste It" is just plain underdeveloped, Stanton wrapping his sometimes tuneless wiry guitar around Troutman's bass while Missy keeps a solemn beat. But even if "Outside Tonight" isn't a great song, it's still an interesting one, featuring a Killing Joke bass line underneath what sounds like a Blue Oyster Cult b-side. Neat! Electric Aborigines proves Awesome can only get more awesome ... even if they don't get more colorful.