released June 15th, 2010

from the album - Fair Game

from all music

Formed in 2001 when the members of the band were still in their teens, Los Angeles' the Like featured Charlotte Froom (bass), Tennessee Thomas (drums), and Z. Berg (vocals). Initially influenced by the Sundays, Throwing Muses, and the Pretenders, the Like were known at first for consisting of offspring of well-known members of the music industry: producer Mitchell Froom, drummer Pete Thomas (of Elvis Costello's Attractions), and A&R impresario Tony Berg. The indie rock trio worked to make its own way, though, and three EPs -- I Like the Like, ...And the Like, and Like It or Not -- were independently released via the band's website or sold at shows prior to the Like landing a recording contract with Geffen in 2004. Fresh out of high school, the Like toured with the likes of Maroon 5, Rooney, and Phantom Planet while writing and recording material for their debut album, 2005's Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? After that the band went through some changes, losing (Froom) and gaining (bassist Laena Geronimo, organist Annie Monroe) members, switching labels (Geffen to Downtown), and ditching its initial look for a mod makeover. This shift in style was in keeping with the musical change that found the Like looking to 1960s garage rock and girl groups for inspiration, rather than the punk-pop sound that informed their debut. Produced by Mark Ronson, Homer Steinweiss, and Alex Greenwald, the band's second album, Release Me, was released in June of 2010.

album review

In the time after the release of their 2005 album Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?, the Like lost a member (bassist Charlotte Froom), shifted record labels (from Geffen to Downtown), got a mod makeover, and most importantly, changed their sound from pretty but uninspired punk-pop to tough and exciting garage rock-inspired pop. 2010’s Release Me was produced (mostly) by Mark Ronson, and together with the band, he gets a very authentic mid-'60s sound with plenty of reverb, drums that snap, guitars that are light but crunchy, and an overall tight and jumping sound. New member Annie Monroe’s wheezy old Vox organ adds to the Standells in eyeliner vibe and overall the band sound energized and nothing at all like their previous record. It feels like they are having a blast running through a set of witty and powerful songs that sound perfect for '60s dancefloors, rec rooms, and late nights alone in front of the mirror. Vocalist Z. Berg’s vocals have a newfound snarling edge to go with the sweetness, when she puts you down (as on “I Can See It in Your Eyes”), you stay down. Her delivery of rockers like “hit single in a perfect world” “He’s Not a Boy,” or “Fair Game” has a bite worthy of a long-haired garage rat, she shows the dynamics of a classic girl group vocalist on the more melodic tunes like “In the End” or “Walk of Shame,” and emotes with real soul on the slow tracks like “Narcissus in a Red Dress.” It’s a virtuoso performance that is matched by the rest of the band. New bassist Leana Geronimo has a nimble, fluid style and drummer Tennessee Thomas pounds the drums with vigor, but also shows restraint when the occasion arises. The band plays like they’d be great in a live setting, especially since the production (which along with Ronson is provided by Alex Greenwald and, on a couple songs, Homer Steinweiss) sounds like a well recorded live set. Release Me wipes away any memories of the band’s previous work as well as any boring talk of their famous fathers, and re-introduces the band as first-rate purveyors of thrillingly fun rockin’ retro pop.

Track Listing

1 Wishing He Was Dead Berg, Brenneck, Greenwald ... 2:53
2 He's Not a Boy Berg 2:35
3 Release Me Berg 3:02
4 Walk of Shame Berg 2:14
5 Narcissus in a Red Dress Berg, Greenwald 3:42
6 I Can See It in Your Eyes Berg 2:43
7 Fair Game Berg 2:28
8 Square One Berg, Boesel, Greenwald ... 2:08
9 In the End Berg 2:57
10 Trouble in Paradise Berg, Brenneck, Greenwald ... 3:03
11 Catch Me If You Can Berg 3:10
12 Don't Make a Sound Berg, Greenwald 5:57