By: Bill Clifford
If you've been pining for the eccentric vocals and pop melodies of Gwen Stefani, perhaps a Sirsy fix is what you crave. Sirsy is an Albany, New York based two-piece fronted by the charismatic Melanie Krahmer, whose vocals uncannily resemble Stefani's idiosyncratic, bellowing howl. In concert, she takes the lead, holding the beat on the drum kit while standing up, as well as holding her own on the occasional flute solo. She's joined by Rich Libutti on guitar and bass, which he often plays with foot pedals.
Revolution (Sirsymusic), the band's fourth full-length, finds the duo rocking just as hard as previous efforts, which were recorded with several band members. The bass pumping title track is Krahmer's call to action: "So get up/ Get off it and break some ground/ Make your own revolution!" She snarls with vigor and vehemence, perhaps directed towards former members. The vitriol is replaced with a determined spirit on several tracks, such as the lovelorn ballad "Leftover Girl," where she vows she'll no longer play second fiddle. "Oh Billy" is the most radio friendly track here. Churning guitar and rat-a-tat drumming support Krahmer's playful, yet hard vocals that reveal the two-faced liar of the song's title. Her smoky rasp on the verses turns to a fierce howl on the chorus. Krahmer finds solace on the graceful ballad "Still," where she pines, "And through the madness and trouble there's grace/ As sure as when I see your face/ So I know what peace is." A calmer demeanor prevails on "Mercury," which features graceful flute, and the lovely, longing piano torch ballad "Fireflies," which is lit up with elegant strings.
Sirsy's latest CD may not be as revelatory as its title implies but it is an ear-catching, hook laden, pop-funk hybrid with the potential to fill a void in contemporary pop music.
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