3 Stars

High school garage band.

These are the words that kept running through my mind as I listened to this 12-tracked, 24-minute album. It’s band practice and the bassist couldn’t make it because, well, he doesn’t exist.

The Like Young are Amanda and Joe Ziemba, husband and wife duo as of spring 2002. The fact that there are only two does not hinder their power to rock one bit. Switching around from band to band trying to find their niche, Amanda and Joe finally realized that their niche was in each other.

At last, the couple was able to express themselves they way they wanted to and it shows through their music. Their songs are short and to the point. Joe has a strong voice and he isn’t afraid to belt lyrics off at the top of his lungs. He has fun and he has attitude. Amanda’s background vocals add a soft, sweet splash of color to the mix for a fun poppy blend.

Their lyrics are blunt and a little bit sassy: “give me your hand, let me smell it.” On So Serious, song topics range from paranoia to drinking to lust. Since the songs are short, it just means that you can learn all the words faster.

The couple uses upbeat guitar riffs and catchy drum beats to induce movement in the listener’s body. Although the recording sounds somewhat flat, it does have that very raw, live appeal to it. The instrumentation is varied a bit on tracks like “Worry a Lot” where they throw in some keyboards.

So Serious is a great album to pop in the player while you’re getting ready to go out or if you just want to hang out in the living room with some friends. Three instruments, two people, one damn fun band.

This review originally appeared in Buzz on Sept. 23, 2004.

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