The Tangle

Now We’re Awake

(Piety Street Files and Archaic Media)

The Tangle, Now We're Awake, album cover

The fine debut record from The Tangle pairs the husband-and-wife team of vocalist D’Arcy Malone and guitarist Christopher Boye with New Orleans rock veterans Chris Johnson on bass and Mark Davis on drums. This is a modern-sounding rock ’n’ roll record, yet it holds elements of many eras — ’80s New Wave guitars and punk harmonies, ’90s-’00s earnestness — combining them in a way that doesn’t date the music in the least. Buy on iTunesBuy on AmazonThe guitars chug and chime over solid bass and propulsive drums on “Watershed” and “Now We’re Awake.” Elsewhere the band adds a mysterious feel to “Home” and “Whether.” On the whole, the songs are well written, going to places and taking turns that are unexpected but still work and make sense. Across the record Malone’s voice takes on many personas, from the ominous come-on of “Lay It On Me” to the warning call on “One Night Lover” to the sweetly defiant closer “Wild Child.” It’s great to hear Malone finally have a whole record for her voice after great cameos with the Radiators and Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Her harmonies with Boye sometimes recall the ragged exchanges of John Doe and Exene Cervenka in X, but Boye’s voice sounds flat (in temperament, not tone) against Malone’s on a couple of songs. Aside from that, Tangle’s Now We’re Awake is a good record, and a welcome addition to the growing and improving New Orleans rock scene.