Beneath the overdriven bass, fuzz-toned guitar and retro drum frenzy lurks a country tune.
“That’s my favorite music,” singer Lindsay “Coco” Hames said. “All the songs start as a country song.”
With a voice steeped in Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, Hames, 26, joins the rest of The Ettes ” drummer Maria “Poni” Silver and bassist Jeremy “Jem” Cohen ” together assembling a sound that’s a lot louder and a bit more Blondie.
The Ettes seem to come from both everywhere and nowhere. Before they knew each other, Hames said all three members individually moved to Los Angeles from New York City the same week in October 2003. Coming together in early 2004, the band has toured both coasts and across the center of the United States and the act regularly crisscrosses the globe, plugging in for performances in Paris, Berlin and Madrid.
Thursday’s Conservatory show with locals The Electric Primadonnas and Vultures of Culture will be The Ettes’ third performance at the Oklahoma City club, Hames said.
Through the years, the globetrotting gypsy-punks have found a regular home at ToeRag Studios in London, where the group recorded both its 2006 debut, “Shake the Dust,” and 2008’s “Look at Life Again Soon,” with Liam Watson, a well-regarded producer most known for his mixing and engineering work on The White Stripes’ 2003 Grammy Award-winning album, “Elephant.”
The band recorded a 45-inch vinyl single with The Black Keys producer Dan Auerbach, Hames said. The single will be released in March just prior to showcase performances at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, before the three head back into Watson’s London studio to complete work on a new album.
“This time we’re kind of messing around,” she said. “We’ve been talking to Liam about all the crazy stuff we’re going to do.”
On previous albums, Hames said the band wanted to make sure recordings lined up with live performances so that audiences could expect to hear live what they heard on an CD.
“I think we’re finding that we care less about the difference between the two,” she said. “I used to say, ‘I don’t want anyone who’s not in the band playing on the record,’ but we’ve already done the straightforward thing twice. Why not make a crazy record?”
With an acoustic guitar and lyrics, Hames said she seeds most of The Ettes’ songs ” ideas that are quickly assembled, arranged, plugged-in and amplified by bandmates Silver and Cohen.
When combined with the group’s vagabond influences “modern British garage rock, 1960s pop, punk rock and classic Americana ” the energetic result is instantaneously fun and impossibly cool.
“We had so much fun last time we were in Oklahoma,” Hames said. “We were running around, getting loud and sweaty. We’re excited to come back.” “Joe Wertz