1. Grande Dame
2. Coronation Of The Clown Prince
3. Hands Of Providence
4. Two Women
The first demo tape from NYC’s The Niagaras commands attention to this day. Powerful urgency, driving jangle, a bit Smiths, or The Cure without the keys, but more camp and frantic than morose. “Coronation” betrays an evident affection for The Monochrome Set, not to mention David(s) B. Solo trumpet in an indie rock band? In 1988? Take that, Beirut! “Two Women” somehow sounds like Bowie & Mercury’s “Under Pressure” without sounding very much like that song.
There was a time when the Brothers Whaley — singer Robert and drummer/actor Frank — owned this town; all the boldfaced names came out to witness the lunacy (they were a stellar live band), but it only went so far; The Niagaras were just too peculiar for mass consumption.
I was tickled pink just now to discover Niagaras front man Robert Whaley is still very much in the game, helming not only a reunited Niagaras in 2014, but also the band Comic Tales Of Tragic Heartbreak; the latter put out their second album a year ago, and it’s very good.
More to come from The Niagaras, so stay tuned!