The Makers

Bowery rock cooked up in Spokane, Washington. An interesting elixir. The Makers look and sound like a mission statement for Seventies rock glam: leather and scarves and skinny legs, lyrics charged with suicide, vintage Gibson SG's for authentic buzz. And on their tenth LP, Strangest Parade, the Makers expand on their traditional bopping blitzkriegs and listen to all the right voices from their teenage bedroom walls. Opening with a rain of static and star-spangled guitar, Strangest Parade jumps bangs-first into "Hard to be Human" -- slithering bass, rattling tambourine, vocalist Michael Machine's wolfish howl hinting at Robert Smith gacked on meth. The stories told here are gritty and intimate, a cocaine confessional with the stranger at the party. Equal parts biography and observation, the songs name-drop Jesus, Bon Jovi, Elvis, even Jimmy down the block; they're people we all know. Produced by the Fastbacks' Kurt Bloch, this is 40 minutes of crafty rock and roll revue, summoning Bauhaus, the Byrds, and harmonized bonfire jangle.