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High Voltage

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A certain sect of music fans have an overwhelming desire to act as if Nirvana never happened (particularly Loverboy fans). These fans often see rock music as a one-dimensional form, one that is always blues-driven, that always struts.

At first listen, Missoula's High Voltage could be the band for those fans, but the group doesn't strut or preen ... constantly, anyway. The male proclivity to strut, a la third-string '80s butt-rock outfits like Bang Tango and Danger Danger, is kept in check by vocalist Erin Schneider, who provides a nice balance to the bluesy hot licks and riffs that the band traffics in. Her voice hangs out somewhere between Heart's Ann Wilson and Amy Lee of Evanescence. On the track "Given Up," Schneider's voice adds something a little different to a well-worn rock arrangement. But not that different.

This is the bar music of the '80s, '90s and apparently today. There are extended guitar solos with Whammy pedal a-whistling. There's a chorus whispered, then blasted, then repeated ad infinitum. High Voltage is a throwback to a pre-Nirvana age and a sort of antidote to twee indie pop music that prefers the lushness of a Brian Wilson arrangement to the bare-boned confidence of an Angus Young riff.

High Voltage opens for Eye Empire at Monk's Bar on Mon., March 4, at 9 PM. $15/$12 advance at brownpapertickets.com

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