The Decks – Breath and Bone (Tortoise Records)

With a high-octane garage rock sound, and production duties split between Jim Diamond (Dirtbombs, The Sights, Siddartha) and Eddie Gillis (Jack White’s brother), it doesn’t get much more Detroit than The Decks. The band members are pretty young – all four are still in college – but Breath and Bone shows an advanced understanding of rock’s past. In a musical climate where raw rock’n’roll is increasingly marginalized, it’s refreshing to hear a young band more apt to remind you of The Cramps than, say, The Killers. They come charging out of the gate with “Bad Taste”, brandishing heavily reverbed surf-guitars and twisted Ponys/Strokes-hybrid vocals, and they don’t let up for the next thirty-eight minutes, keeping the energy, fun and quality high throughout. With the right kind of luck and nurturing there’s definitely potential for The Decks to be a big success – the song “Skeleton” is particularly infectious, and deserves a big audience. However, even if The Decks don’t become the proverbial “next big thing”, at the very least they’re keeping Detroit rock’n’roll alive, which is commendable.