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The A.K.A.s
WHITE DOVES & SMOKING GUNS
(Fueled by Ramen)

With the Pennsylvania hardcore band Brotherís Keeper, A.K.A.s frontman Mike Ski became known for his sneering delivery and incendiary lyrics. Now based in NYC, he retains those attributes on the energetic debut from his new group. But the first single, "Generation Vexed," makes it clear that Ski has traded bruising hardcore for dance-friendly garage rock. "What you gonna do when it ainít cool/To be a loser no more," he asks over a barrage of guitars that proves he hasnít forgotten his punk roots. His attitude borders on nihilism, but keyboardist Nina Aron brings the party with colorful riffs and flirty back-up vocals. Produced by former Fort Apache regular Tim OíHeir, White Doves uses rock as a tonic for the malaise of war, middle-class poverty, and information overload. "Every Great Western" is artier than most anti-Bush rants; "The Best Way To Beat a Mid-Life Crisis (Is To Be Dead)" fights bad credit with "summer tours and power chords." And thereís enough grime in the guitars to make up for the occasional lack of hooks.

(The A.K.A.s perform this Wednesday, July 28, at the Paradise Lounge, 969 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston; call 617-562-8800.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: July 23 - 29, 2004
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