The idea of a two-person, retro-roots combo is about as played out as Stooges T-shirts at American Outfitters. There are only a couple of ways to convincingly pull off such a project in the age of the White Stripes and the Black Keys: Do it over the top and larger than life, or do it fucking weird. Oklahoma's Hosty Duo, comprising guitarist Michael Hosty and a drummer known as only as Tic Tac, opt for the latter, but don't think that its bluesy rock is just for giggles. With tunes that range from knee-slapping to gut-wrenching, Hosty reveals himself as a singer/songwriter of vast emotional and melodic depth on his group's eponymous, 2003 full-length. Hosty's garage-incubated, slide-drenched sound may be nothing novel, but his Duo's quirky and oddly compelling take on pared-down Americana definitely is.
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