Record Review - 2 May 20 2004

The dance-punk revolution has finally come to Dixie. Emerging from the much-hallowed Tampa scene (note sarcasm), the Washdown looked to major markets for its sound, brandishing an amped-up, rough around the edges but easy to swallow brand of garage-minded sway punk that’s a few shots shy of filling a dancefloor.

You name a current garage or dance-punk band, and a keen ear can find a moment in the quintet’s debut Yes to Everything — recorded at Atlanta’s Zero Return Studio — where the Washdown run tangent to that act. The clean, bouncy guitar strums of Franz Ferdinand face off with the dirty lo-fi garage of labelmates the Pattern. Take the Rapture’s funky, but not dancey, lockstep rhythms around the time of its 2001 EP, Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks, and throw in the headstrong swagger of the Hives or Mooney Suzuki. The formula: Throw three chords together, click your boots, but don’t quite shake your ass.

About midway through “Ladies and Gentlemen,” track seven out of 11, it becomes clear that if you require a touchstone to understand the Washdown’s vibe, it’s gotta be British Columbian neo-wavers Hot Hot Heat, whose Sub Pop-released Knock Knock Knock EP carries the same sort of pulled-punch wallop felt here.

To recap: The Rapture, they are not, but the Washdown is a brief dalliance with Brooklyn-based production team DFA away from body movin’.

The Washdown plays the Echo Lounge at 9 p.m. Thurs., May 20. $8.