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The Zutons 

Who Killed...the Zutons (Deltasonic)

What with all the recent '80s disinterment, it's good to see a young band looking beyond its older brother's generation for influence. Heralded in their native Liverpool, the Zutons ply earnest '60s hindsight and work some eerie déjà-vu juju on their stateside debut. The quintet is a garage band in the truest sense: Its unpolished, smokin'-under-the-bleachers demeanor isn't a thrift store affectation but a result of seemingly accidental genius. Who Killed revisits the spook-pop swagger of the Zombies, the soul claps of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, and Dr. John's midnight-swamp boogie with the same twist of limey that the Stones put on Jerry Lee and Muddy Waters.

The Zutons' thrill lies in their sheer guts and glory, though singer/guitarist Dave McCabe could use a little more smoke to rough up his glistening pipes. Abi Harding's sax hits just right on the rootsy funk of "Pressure Point," "Havana Gang Brawl" is a boiling neo-Motown shakedown, and the acoustic "Confusion" spills well-mellowed Canned Heat. Their recent breakout performance opening for the Killers at the Culture Room showed that given free reign, these psych-blues acolytes can out-voodoo just about anyone.

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More by Jonathan Zwickel

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