Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Breath and Bone

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Honestly, when this reviewer first looked at the debut CD from the Grosse Pointe-based Decks and read over the accompanying press release, he groaned. Was yet another local garage band with a "the" preceding their name hanging onto the ever-fraying remains of White's Stripes? That Jim Diamond and Eddie (aka brother of Jack White) Gillis handle production duties did nothing to calm those initial fears. And that the foursome is fresh out of its teens made for a strong shiver; the Displays and the Muldoons, after all, are already providing the city's garage scene with enough youth injection. So I sat back in my office chair, sipped at my tea with careless abandon and prepared to be sent into a tedium-inspired coma.

Shame on me. And kudos to the Decks for the surprise (something that, 10 years into a rock writing career, few bands manage anymore).

The secret to the Decks is their apparent and obvious love of surf acts from across the decades, including such past greats as the Ventures, Dick Dale and the Barracudas. The riff on second track "DTC," for example, is pure Dale, although the stunning guitar work is complemented by Alex Glendening's manic vocal delivery. This garage-surf amalgamation is then made all the more fun by the addition of female backing vocals, courtesy of Maria Nuccilli (also the drummer), Molly-Jean Schoen (also a guitarist), Ellen Chamberlain (yet another guitarist) and, in the case of "Bad Taste," one Mia Gillis. The ladies lend the band an early '60s girl-group feel, a la the Ronettes or the Shangri-Las.

The whole combination is positively intoxicating. That they've added a completely fresh twist to the familiar Detroit garage rock sound is exciting, to say the least. Let's not jinx them by boldly predicting success. But, at least to these ears, the Decks are among the best new bands to have danced out of the city in some time.

Brett Callwood writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 3, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation