The Easy-Offs Life is a Drone

Montreal's the Easy-offs, made up of Zak Izbinsky (guitar and vocals) and Robert Nicolo (drums), list such acts and abstract items as Grand Funk Railroad, R.L. Burnside, weed and caffeine as their influences on their MySpace profile. I would like to add another act to this list, seeing as upon pressing play there was a pink elephant in the room. Zak and Robert totally have a Black Keys shtick going on between them ― the raucous drums, grungy guitar, the whole two-man-band set up. But the Easy-offs prove to be twangier (especially "Skid Row Holler," which sounds like some straight-up Merle Haggard) than the Black Keys, who have perfected a poppy alter ego to pair with their grungier work. I have some advice to music listeners out there who love to rock-out to fuzzy grunge blues rock: check out these two the next time they travel through your town and you'll have discovered a fun little secret. Life is a Drone, the duo's debut album, is a great listen. There are moments where the production sounds a bit awkward, such as backing vocals that don't quite fit or Zak's slightly dead cadence in the delivery of the lyrics, in parts, but this is a quality debut. (MonoChord)