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Photo by Julie Schuchard

 

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Guitar Noir is how San Francisco-NYC based The Blacks describe their sound and it’s an apt genre for a band whose sole melodic instrument is the thick sound of Luisa Black’s electric guitar, distorted and reverb-soaked in a way reminiscent of a more garage-influenced Jesus and Mary Chain. Drummer Gavin Black and tambourine player/backup vocalist JDK Blacker add to the energy with an intense rhythmic assault, and the trio’s catchy racket has a earned them a reputation for getting people moving at their live shows.

As we learned in the interview, an attraction to a stripped-down sound was one of the reasons the band members got together in the first place, and the group's ability to convey so much melody out of so little instrumentation is one of its strongest skills. Indeed, Nom de Guerre, the band’s debut full length, establishes a wholly realized sonic identity equally catchy and cutting. The lyrics compliment the musical backdrop, as Luisa and JDK sing stories of relationships that confront the listener with an emotional weight without being overly literal or direct.

We spoke with Luisa and JDK at The Bay Bridged Studio a couple of weeks ago. In addition to our discussion of the band's origins and its evolving sound, we've got four songs from Nom de Guerre in the episode as well.

The Blacks’ next show is at the Tricycle Records Holiday Party:

Thursday, December 20th
Rickshaw Stop
with Veil Veil Vanish and DJ DMAP
8pm, $8

Check out more about the band at their MySpace page and web site. You can pick up a copy of Nom de Guerre from Tricycle Records (where you can listen to a full album stream) and on iTunes.

Thanks for listening!

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