With the digital music revolution and crate digging at an all-time high, it is safe to say that almost any new band is derivative. In fact, it is probably safe to argue that all music is derivative in nature, but there is a not-so-fine-line between derivative and a straight cop. The latter rarely being successful unless you’re Rancid effectively doing The Clash all over again. The Like’s “Release Me” is a difficult record to approach in the sense that, yes, it is not derivative but rather a straight-up cop of girl groups of the sixties, however, with its sleek production, catchy vocal harmonies and messages of female empowerment, the girl group movement could be one of the more fun musical movements of the last 60 years. That being said, “Release Me” is well done, successfully covering the grooves that make you do the pony or the swim, and is bolstered by the excellent production of Mark Ronson and the voice of Z Berg, who is sharp and biting on songs like “Wishing He Was Dead” and “Narcissus in a Red Dress.” But, as alluded to earlier, there is something to be said about capturing the essence while creating something a bit unique, so while “Release Me” is a good record that you are sure to enjoy if you love the girl group sound, it is still a hollow rendition of a music genre that really had a soul.
Be sure to check out our stunning photos and review of The Like’s headlining show at The Troubadour.
Words: Alex Roman