Slacker rock takes a turn for the hooks on the Dead Trees' first album, King of Rosa. It's a hazy, twangy, impudent homage to getting your rocks off — specifically, the type of rocks the Portland, Oregon, band, led by crackly voiced Michael Ian Cummings, never knew it had the nerve to steal so brazenly. Its 2008 single, "Shelter," is a simply unassailable '60s garage howl without the retro trappings, without fear of cowbell jokes and without caution or calculation — even if it means the Dead Trees will burn out before the hype-makers catch up. It's almost enough to remind you why the Strokes sounded good to begin with. (Incidentally, the band has been touring with Strokes spinoff Little Joy.) If the Dead Trees fall in an overcrowded indie forest, and no hipster takes note, that doesn't mean they didn't rock like they meant it.
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