Record Review - 2 November 18 2004

Brooklyn's the Rogers Sisters could just as well be from Athens circa 1982. The group's latest release has you wondering if you've run across a perfectly preserved artifact from over two decades ago.

Three Fingers — the second album (if a seven-song, 22-minute mini-LP is an "album") from guitarist Jennifer Rogers, drummer Laura Rogers and (male) bassist Miyuki Furtado (all share vocals) — is a volley of brisk bubblegum bop and sparring, politically tinged post-punk. Appropriating the awkward, angular chants of Devo and the propulsive, spartan instrumentation of Pylon, the Rogers Sisters' approach is militaristic, metronomic, yet eminently pogoish.

But the most concise description of the sound — and one I'm not alone in noting — is a Brooklyn B-52's. Furtado has a warbling, Fred Schneider-ish yelp best showcased on the jerky, careening "Freight Elevator," and the cheerleader chug of "The Secrets of Civilization."

Most compelling, however, is "Check Level," with its fuzz bass (think the Beastie Boys' "Gratitude"), a pounding surf of percussion and prickly shards of guitar being flicked about. Fingers does a good job balancing new wave and punk rock. But you're not gonna give away your old favorites.

-- Tony Ware
The Rogers Sisters perform at the Masquerade Tues., Nov. 23. 7 p.m. $16.