SSM "Break Your Arm for Evolution" Alive

Friday, January 25, 2008

SSM"Break Your Arm for Evolution"Alive

SINCE SSM IS A DETROIT garage-rock band composed of three Detroit garage-rock veterans, it's fitting that the group's second album opens with a song titled "Deja Vu." Yet not everything on "Break Your Arm for Evolution" has been heard before -- at least not quite this way.

Named for the musicians's initials, SSM can power a bluesy stomp just as heartily as the former bands of keyboardist John Szymanski (the Hentchmen), drummer Dave Shettler (the Sights) and guitarist Marty Morris (the Cyril Lords). But the trio also ventures into funk, synth-pop, glam-rock and psychedelia.

"Start Dancing" is representative of SSM's style. The song opens with pure synthetics: pings and coos arrayed against a tinny pulse. The accompaniment remains all electronic after the vocals enter, but the guitar and drums gradually take their usual place, and the tune becomes a rocker -- though the track isn't the album's most traditional one. (That would be the punky "Emotional Tourist.") "Break Your Arm for Evolution" certainly isn't technocratic enough for electro purists, but SSM can show garage-rock buffs that there's more than one way to start dancing.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Friday with the Von Bondies, Freer and MHR at Jammin' Java (703-255-1566, Doors open at 8.

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