22 Brides

  • 22 Brides
  • 22 Brides (Zero Hour) 1994 
  • Beaker (Zero Hour) 1995 

Led by sisters Libby and Carrie Johnson (originally the entire band, subsequently expanded by an onboard rhythm section), New York’s 22 Brides made encouraging progress from the electrified coffeehouse mundanity of the first album to the semi-stylish rock of Beaker. Joining their voices in close harmony to sing a lot of the lead parts in unison, the two singer/songwriters are nothing special on 22 Brides. But set amid the swirling noise guitar that occasionally lights a fire under Beaker, the effect is a bit more distinctive. The graft of punky abandon to the trunk of folky preciousness doesn’t mesh strongly enough to make the second album more than moderately intriguing (“Insomnia” and the stirring “Crash” are promising high points), but experimental hybrids do have a way of sprouting strange flowers.

[Ira Robbins]