Young guns

Aug 6, 2008 at 12:00 am

Ok, let's get this out of the way at the very beginning: The Displays are very, very young. Maybe not quite Shane Muldoon young, but at around 15 or 16 years old per member, they're still upstarts in the rock 'n' roll world. Do a Google search for the band and you'll see words like "good for their age" popping up time and again in reviews. Still, that seems a tad patronizing, even if it's true, though. At an age when other boys are playing Rock Band on their game machines, these youngsters are having a go at the real thing and they're making an admirable noise in the process.

The self-released Ain't Gonna Put Us Down is the band's debut full-length, and it's immediately apparent that the Displays have friends in high places. The Sights' main man Eddie Baranek plays guitar on the record; local legend Jim Diamond produced; Detroit poster artist Mark Arminski designed the sleeve. But is it any good? Well, they're not going to set the world on fire just yet. Nevertheless, they play Motor City garage rock, and they do so with a maturity and swagger that belies their tender years. The songs — especially the opening title track and the excellent "I Gotta Know" — are expertly executed by vocalist-bassist Andrew Hecker and drummer Josh Cohen, both of whom are, quite correctly, just having fun with their music. With a lack of any real life experience to call upon, the writing often, understandably, lets them down a tad, though it seems inevitable that they will only improve.

Ain't Gonna Put Us Down may not be the record that will jet the boys to superstardom, but with time on their side and confidence flowing, the Displays indeed have everything to look forward to.