Sweet, dirty, alluring, and simple punk rock’s like putting a plastic model together. Almost anyone in a civilized country can go to the store, buy the kit, and huff in the garage rock fumes. But you, savvy music listener, know the difference is in how the parts are slid together, that there’s such a thing as magic dirt, that if time is taken by the band to cut themselves from the attachments of the mold—when still being obvious in what they’re making—you can listen to something special. The more Ghetto Ways songs I’m exposed to, the bigger their spectrum: parts Tina Turner, part Josie Cotton, part ‘60s soul and part non-arena ‘70s rock; the music floor’s shifting beneath them, but not in a confusing way. Fueled by Jenna’s raspy howl, lean and close guitar playing, Shane’s trouble-brining bass, and Henry’s in-the-pocket drumming all make the Ghetto Ways much more than a snapped-together, dime-a-dozen attempt at rock’n’roll. Fans of the BellRays and Miss Alex White take notice.
–todd (Hidden Charms: Alien Snatch. Winks: Wicked Singles/Savage)