so I got a new CD in the mail, "Volcano" by Hot Springs. They're a two-girl, two-guy band from Montreal who play loud, not-quite-garage rock. Singer/guitarist Giselle Webber is the driving force on the album - her bluesy, scratchy voice elevates otherwise straightforward garage rockers like "Head Rush" and draw the focus on the others, like "Fantôme Dinosaure," a catchy French-language stomper.

Her somewhat accented vocals remind me of Karen O's wail when they're loud (the carnival-rock "Tiny Islands,") Bjork when they're quieter ("Fog and the Horn,") and Cerys Matthews from Catatonia in between. The lyrics are sometimes hard to understand due to Webber's accent and vibrato, but it's an interesting effect, and they're amusing when you can understand them - "she drinks salt water and cocaine/told me it put hairs on her brain," on "38th Adventure."

Hot Springs sound like one of those bands that could tear a place apart, and the live reviews seem to hold up that notion - calling them "lunatic", "thrillingly intense" and so on. And in a recent show, they covered themselves in mud. I'd like to see them.

They have their own Flickr account too.

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