Since moving to NYC from L.A. in ‘99, the flurry of local bands I’ve fallen for has been dizzying. But none in recent memory has gripped me quite like new garage soul outfit
Clear Plastic Masks, fronted by Detroit-bred Andrew Katz (ex-New York Howl). Powerful sh*t emanates from this man who, at 6’6”, casts an imposing shadow, yet you’ll never meet a warmer guy. The band’s sound dynamics are what’s most striking. One minute Katz’s everyman poet is casually whispering in your ear like an old friend telling you a joke and putting you at ease. The next Matt Menold (guitars, keys) is pummeling you with ocean size Hendrix licks and Stax Hammond organ drones. But a deep soulfulness permeates every note, and the Cuban and Dominican roots of rhythm section Eddy DuQuesne (bass) and Charlie Garmendia (drums) ensure asses are kept shakin’ and the funk is kept stankin’. It adds up to a powerful elixir that could only be brewed in this great city of ours, and it’s undeniably rock n' roll. In the last month the Masks recorded their forthcoming debut LP with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes; Jay Reatard) in Nashville, and filmed this video with director Joshua Shoemaker in Alabama. Catch them headlining the Knitting Factory on Friday 05.25 and be left reeling. – Ryan Henriquez
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