The Lashes at Spaceland, December 9Turns out they do make em like they used to. Seattles Lashes are a rock band in the traditional sense: crotch-constricting pants and carefully considered haircuts; grittily romantic songs about gals; and a true front man in the multibelted Ben Clark. For all the mysteries of major-label talent scouting, its easy to see why Columbia snapped them up (though record deals aint what they used to be the sextet still hump their own equipment, and the club isnt quite full).The Lashes flash panache in all departments, including sometimes spectacular song craft. Keysman/backing vocalist Jacob Hoffman covers acres of musical ground; Clark can hold a tune and a crowd; drummer Mike Loggins drives the bus without fuss; shrub-haired bassist Nate Mooter provides visual punctuation; and the twin six-strings of Eric Howk and Scotty Rickard co-inhabit countermelody territory. The treats peak with the pleading single Sometimes the Sun, but the Lashes worst effort would be the pride of many peers.Though late to the Strokes/Hot Hot Heat party, the Lashes give the garage an emo veneer and add multidimensional arrangement depth. If that means a dip in hip, they probably wont complain about a future on the mainstream airwaves rather than cooler-than-thou clubdom.Paul Rogers frank
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