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CYCOMOTOGOAT (Buy CDs by this artist)
Cycomotogoat EP (De-es-el) 1992
Alkaline (Sector 2) 1994

Originally known, with a different drummer, as Bah Gah Brothers (the name under which the trio issued Is There a Doctor in the Fish?), Cycomotogoat surfaced during the heyday of self-conscious '70s revivalism yet comes off like the real thing on its lengthy self-released EP. The Hoboken trio's dirty boogie suggests a well-preserved Blue Cheer, with lyrical nods to Mercedes cars and Uzi machine guns keeping reality in check. "Serenading Her Soul" and "Tongue and Groove" explore promising terrain, pairing straight-ahead chug with non-flaky psychedelic tendencies. Musically, they surpass more fashionable retro-sludge wankers Monster Magnet and less-dynamic punk rockers Seaweed.

The full-length Alkaline may have suited Cycomotogoat's affiliation with Blues Traveler, but as throwbacks go it's a lackluster likeness. Sporting a cleaner sound than the EP, the group seems as tired as a bar band and just as low on ideas. Ham-fisted hard-rock numbers gloss over crude spots with Crugie Riccio's Hendrixy guitar solos, while his voice is reduced to a hoarse howl. Cellist Tom Cora sits in on two unrewarding quiet numbers, but the band has slumped enough to merit unflattering comparisons to Steppenwolf.

[Ian Christe]