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CD review: Illicitizen 

The Deal: Charlotte's Illicitizen independently releases its debut, self-titled CD on June 4.

The Good: It's not easy to try and categorize the music of Illicitizen – hints of '80s rock, dark mod, indie rock, blues, punk, folk – combined with the fact no two songs sound the same musically. "Detached" reminded me of the tone of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" – though I couldn't decide if it was closer to Donovan or Butthole Surfers interpretation. The music retains a stripped-down, garage feeling to it, without sounding cheap or "high school." "New New One" had the vibe of a song from the 1950s with some punk riffs thrown over the top of it. "Two Eggs Any Style" uses a bit of a reggae groove in it.

The Bad: Using a programmed rhythm section can be limiting, but the band makes the best of it. There's not a whole lot of range in singer Eric Cavanaugh's voice – similar to David Byrne at times (see the Talking Heads vibe of "Imagine That" – which can sound a bit repetitive.

The Verdict: The band finds a way to be unique in its approach while combining familiar elements – giving them a foothold of their own on the music scene. Illicitizen will hold its CD release party at Snug Harbor on June 4, with Beloved Binge and Mumu Tutu.

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