Comparing the gloomy pop sounds of the all-femme Organ to the gloomy pop sounds of Joy Division is too damn easy. So we’ll skip the obvious while eschewing any mention of Interpol. When the Organ played Detroit, supporting the New Pornographers a few years back, it was the girls’ stoic and distant cool that made them as interesting as they were slightly frustrating. There they stood, locked in their respective spaces, almost teasing the audience to yell “do something” while remaining appealing enough to keep the crowd’s attention. It’s this awkward charm that makes them comfortable with being vulnerable, yet confident enough to offer lines such as “We should go down to the mall, look at people, judge them all” with straight faces. It’s the same kind of early abandon and tongue-in-cheek self-awareness that made the Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys and the Slits’ Cut such great debuts: somewhat repetitive, emotionally frail and full of faults, but still onto something genuine. The Organ are definitely not the first band to combine melancholy vocals with Smiths-like guitar work and melodic, one-string bass lines, but they do a fine job carrying on the tradition of being depressed — complete with all-knowing smirks across their lily white faces. Besides, Ian Curtis was never this sexy.
Ryan Allen writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].