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Rhythm & Views

The Sights

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"I'm going to live the life I sing about in my song," cries Eddie Baranek of The Sights at the beginning of their third full-length release, just to get that out of the way first. This clears things up quickly--with a lame name like The Sights and a non-descript album cover, one is not so out of line as to expect yet another blah rock band who play blah songs on their blah guitars. But Baranek sets the record straight from the get-go: The Sights are The Doors, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who and The Jam thrown in a bag with firecrackers, and he's "going to stand for right and always show you wrong."

Baranek plays fuzzy guitar melodies under lyrics like "Well, I just got robbed on the way out the door" ("I Just Got Robbed") as Bobby Emmett holds down the low end with a piano bass and Hammon organ, and Mike Trombley bangs the hell out of his drum kit. You'd never guess these guys are from Detroit. This is what music critics talk about when we talk about reinvention: You take the wilting lettuce and somehow make it crisp again. Maybe I have music like this subconsciously embedded in my brain--I was, after all, born in the '70s--because hooks like these, especially when they're played on an organ and a guitar, with hand claps, trigger a sublime feeling of satisfaction and security.

The Republicans can take their duct tape and gas masks--I'm fighting terrorism with rock and roll, and The Sights are my first line of defense. Play "Scratch My Name in Sin" through a loudspeaker, and even Timothy McVeigh would have a reawakening.

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