Indian Wars keeps things brisk on If You Want Me

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      Indian Wars
      If You Want Me (Bachelor)

      We’ve entered a new decade, but the retro-rock phenomenon is still as ubiquitous as ever. In a field that’s dominated by ’80s-worshipping new wave bands, Vancouver outfit Indian Wars stands out from the pack by being the most anachronistic of the bunch, eschewing gauzy synths and processed beats in favour of good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. The four tracks on the band’s seven-inch If You Want Me EP channel the spirit of early ’60s garage rock, with primal guitar-and-drums freak-outs cutting through a murky haze of reverb. “Just Can’t Get Along With You” begins as a country-tinged hoedown, but the pop perfection of its drawling chorus brings it closer to the Kinks. Even better is “Carol Anne”, which centres around a twanging surf-guitar lick that’s so ecstatically catchy, you won’t care about (or likely notice) the lack of a vocal melody.

      With bleary production and maxed-out sound levels, these recordings sound distinctly home-baked. This is particularly noticeable during the title track, which features echoey, distorted vocals and a feedback solo that would make Lou Reed wince. Still, the poor fidelity suits the band’s gritty style, and intensifies the impression that this disc arrived in a time capsule from 1964.

      Like any garage band worth its salt, Indian Wars keeps things brisk; God forbid if any track exceeds the three-minute mark. Still, short as If You Want Me is, the group proves that classic songwriting and infectious energy never goes out of style.

      Download This: “Carol Anne”

      Indian Wars performs "Carol Anne" at Pub 340 in September 2009.