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Pop Music Review : Gene Loves Jezebel Makes Statement

October 26, 1985|RICHARD CROMELIN

A Welsh/English group called Gene Loves Jezebel played the Roxy on Thursday, providing another example of the growing trend toward band names that are complete sentences.

In the '60s, It's a Beautiful Day was just about the only one around, but starting with the Teardrop Explodes, the post-punk era has given us the likes of What Is This, Welcome to Venice and the enigmatically monikered local band Grandpa Becomes a Fungus. (There's even a sub-category of phrase groups, headed by Ready for the World, Everything but the Girl and Arms of Someone New, but that's another story.)

While no doubt contemplating this phenomenon, the cutting-edge audience at the Roxy responded favorably to Gene Loves Jezebel's ear-numbing crash-and-drone, which sounded like U2 transplanted from cathedral to garage, with a lacing of Public Image Ltd. dissonance.

Twin brothers Michael and J. Aston, who front the band, have a sort of ratty, rock 'n' roll Gypsy look, and while guitarist/singer J. projected a droll, Ray Davies personality, singer Michael strutted and twirled as if he couldn't decide whether to be Rod Stewart or Stevie Nicks.

While no single element--songwriting, singing, et al.--was outstanding, GLJ's lack of pretense made the performance oddly likable. Period.

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