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"North Adams Transcript 2008"

November 14, 2008

Friday, November 14 Looker - Born in the Desert (Serious Business Records) Boshra AlSaadi and Nicole Greco met teenagers at a painting class they took in Pennsylvania then went back to their respective lives. They kept in touch, though, writing letter and trading mix tapes. Nowadays, they write songs and trade vocals in a band called Looker -- judging from the band's new CD "Born in the Desert," I imagine the mix tapes were pretty cool.

My best guess is that the mix tapes were filled with energetic and melodic punk and new wave from the late '70s and early '80s, because that's what their band produces. It's loud and fast, but with jingles and jangles that bring The Smiths or The Primitives to mind -- crossed with, say, The Undertones, with whom the band has toured -- mixed with some surf styles, '60s girl groups and, strangest of all, maybe some early Heart and a touch of The Sweet.

Listing off the ingredients makes the music sound like a pastiche, but it's not -- the styles cling together tightly and never unravel. The band isn't aping song styles, it's living them, wrapping them around each other and coming up with its own sound rather than settling for the current trend of derivative power punk for teens.

My favorite song? "Master's Gone Away," a song that almost qualifies as a ditty, with it's catchy guitar grind, "Ballroom Blitz" drum refrain and the chorus "Jimmy Crack Corn and I don't care at all," it's irresistible. There's not a losing track on the album though -- and in this current scene of posing emo boys pretending to be some kind of '80s power punks that never really existed, Looker gives me hope that every now and then, my ear will catch the sound of the real deal. - North Adams Transcript

"AfterEllen 2008"

Looker do pull off something that that is extremely hard to do in my book - it`s that classic Blondie/Missing Persons new wave pop sound that sounds easy to do in principle but extremely hard to pull off in the real world of 2008. Listen to any of the tracks below as the best proof I can offer for that hypothesis, dear pop fan. Looker is a female fronted New York four-piece whose sound fuses girl-group pop sweetness with grit and ambition, resulting in a unique, kinetic rock and roll experience that is bittersweet, melodic and confrontational. "With one collective stiletto heel in the Brill Building circa 1963 and the other in what used to be CBGB...my first favorite racket of 2007." -David Fricke, `Fricke`s Picks`, Rolling Stone. "Sassy American rock & roll with low slung guitars and economically short power-pop riffs." -Steve Lamacq BBC1 radio

"With their unabashedly poppy, rough-and-tumble gems, they could have made a great split LP with the Phil Spector-era Ramones. Born in the Desert`s production comes courtesy of Erik Paparazzi (Cat Power) and trades in the stripped-down production of the previous album for lush and jagged soundscapes. They play infectious short stories wrapped in rock candy. For a taste of the sound, imagine the Buzzcocks sitting in with the Shangri-Las. Then sprinkle a generous handful of Joan Jett grit on top, and you`re starting to get there. The new CD`s subject matter is tough, bittersweet and celebratory. Each song is a distinctly strange slice of desire and anxiety, sweetened by punk guitar heroics and an airtight rhythm section that catapults the narrative forward with the brave glee of the first sledder down a freshly snow-covered slope. The Smiths-referencing "After My Divorce" chronicles the glamorous life of a divorcee who moves to New York, sips Campari and assures us to a demanding drum beat that she`d "do it again" if given the chance. The title track, with its proclamation that "I`m the hero of my own life," sounds absolutely huge. The uncommonly evocative "Animal Dreams" manages to be both foreboding and exhilarating."- AfterEllen. VERY Highly Recommended! - notlame.com

"Who's Jack Magazine 2008"

Fusing messy punk guitars with tight melodic female harmonies Looker create a superb rough-around-the-edges pop sound. A collaboration of childhood friends, this NY four piece is sure to go far having already notched up some memorable live performances...The driving rhythms, chiming guitars and sing-along chorus of After My Divorce perfectly encapsulates their twee-punk sounds as well as teh irresistible lyric 'Jimmy Crack Corn, I don't care at all' featured on Master's Gone Away. - Who's Jack

"Steve Lamacq 2007"

"I finally wound up by watching Looker at Maggie Mae's. This was a bit of a treat for me as the four-piece are New York's rama-lama popsters of choice and friends of The Hold Steady. Simple, but effervescent three minute bursts of guitar tuneage, delivered with unabashed enthusiasm. The easiest choice of the day."
Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 1 DJ @ SXSW - Online

"about.com 2007"

Looker are New York City inheritors of the best parts of the punk sound. Their melodic, energy-infused tunes sound good because the swagger and strut they express are flourishes added to well-constructed pop songs, and not surface in the place of substance. Through their shows in dirty Lower East Side clubs, they've gained not only a following, but a confidence that lets their angry love songs and wistful anthems sprawl where other "girl-groups" crawl. Calling them a "girl-group" even sounds limiting. They are just a great new group. - Joey Rubin

"mccall.com 2007"

| It's too bad New York band Looker has released its full-length debut in early January, the time of year that brings us movies such as ''Code Name: The Cleaner'' and albums as cherished as unwanted children. But the self-released ''Born Too Late'' certainly stacks up well against almost anything a major — or indie — label puts out at more auspicious times of year. Singer-guitarists Boshara AlSaadI and Nicole Greco, bassist-vocalist Rachel Smith and drummer Robbie Overbey flesh out the ''girl-group''/punk mix they crafted on their previous, self-titled EP, and it's honestly tough to find a bad track — or name a best one, for that matter. In a pinch, I'd go with ''Ballad of the 9th Precinct'' or the bouncy ''Tickle My Spine.'' It's not too early to climb aboard the ''Born Too Late'' bandwagon.
- Tom Coombe

"fingertipsmusic.com 2007"

Punchy, uncomplicated punk-pop with an undercurrent of something richer and inscrutably appealing. I like how the head-knocking rhythm of the verse alternates with a just slightly swingier feel, almost like a sped-up Supremes song, in the chorus. Singer/guitarist Boshra Alsaadi has a voice at once higher and musically stronger than one usually hears from a woman heading a hard-rocking unit like this one. Having fellow guitarist (and band co-founder) Nicole Greco on backing vocals adds a pleasing richness to the brisk, careening vibe. In fact, three of the band's four members are women (only the drummer is male), which messes up music writers seeking to put them in either the well-worn "girl-band" box (Go-Gos, Donnas, etc.) or the "woman singer/male band" box (Blondie, Garbage, etc.). Haven't seen anyone put them in the Elastica box but there at least was one other band with three women and one man, at least for some of its life, for what it's worth. "Tickle My Spine" is a song dating back to Looker's 2004 EP, On the Pull; after hitting the studio in 2006 to record some demos with none other than Richard Gottehrer (who produced the debut CDs for both Blondie and the Go-Gos), Looker is set to release its first full-length CD, Born Too Late, later this week. The MP3 is available via the band's site. Thanks to the Deli for the lead. - unknown

"Rolling Stone 2007"

New year, new rock: Looker are a New York quartet with three singing women-founding guitarists Boshra AlSaadi and Nicole Greco and bassist Rachel Smith-who kick and coo on their debut album, Born Too Late (Looker), with one collective stiletto heel in the Brill Building circa 1963 and the other in what used to be CBGB. The band, which includes drummer Robbie Overbey, doesn't hide its debts to Blondie, the Runaways and the Shangri-Las. Instead, Looker write rolling la-la thunder like 'Hey Kids' and 'Gregory' that repays the lessons with interest. - David Fricke

"Time Out New York 2007"

Looker's pop punk is lived-in and time-proven, descended equally from the top-down 70's and the melodic punk that revolted against it. With each new trip into (and then out of) the studio, teh quarter sounds better. To wit: Born Too Late, the group's self released new album, is crisp, tight, and endlessly catchy. - Mike Wolf

"V Magazine 2007"

Recorded and mixed in only eight days, the new album from NYC's Looker captures the scrappy spontaneity and sense of fun that seems to currently elude so many of the band's big-city contemporaries. While countless aspiring downtown darlings wrap their rock in a veneer of post-punk posturing and perfectly manicured outfits, the female-fronted Looker feels no need to dress up the hooky rhythms and sing-song choruses that make its rough-around-the-edges tunes so instantly likeable. Born Too Late is equal parts girl-group harmony (there are three vocalists) and punkish old-school guitar jams (think Breeders meeting the Strokes in a drunken bar brawl). Best of all, this is the rare album that manages to accurately capture the immediacy of a band's live show in all of its ragged, pop-y glory. - T. Cole Rachel


"...On the Pull" -self released EP 2004
Self Titled-self released EP 2005
3 song demo (produced by Richard Gottehrer/Joe Blaney) 2006
"Born Too Late" LP January 2007
"After My Divorce" Single October 2007
"Gates of the Old City" Single March 2008
"Spit for your Shine" Single April 2008
"Born in the Desert" LP October 28, 2008



Looker is a female fronted New York four piece whose sound fuses girl group harmonies and gritty punk riffs. The result is kinetic rock and roll that is melodic, bittersweet, and confrontational. Born out of the collaboration of childhood friends Boshra AlSaadi and Nicole Greco, Looker began as a hot summer’s experiment in Manhattan’s lower east side back in 2003. Since then, the band has grown with the addition of AJ Lambert on bass and Robbie Overbey on drums, and has toured top venues from Stockholm to Toronto playing with bands like the Hold Steady, the Noisettes, Shy Child, Demander, and Chin Up Chin Up.

In January 2007 Looker produced and released their first LP Born Too Late, which was recorded and mixed in just 8 days. Glowing reviews followed from the likes of Rolling Stone, Steve Lamacq, Vice, V Magazine, About.com, and Timeout NY among others. The band decided to follow the record up with a series of singles, recorded and released as they are written in classic rock n’ roll style.

For these singles, Looker is teaming up with producer Erik Paparazzi (formerly of Lizard Music and currently playing with Cat Power). “After My Divorce” came out on Serious Business Records in the U.S. on Nov. 6th. The single received the attention of one Steve Lamacq in the UK and the band got to play the songs live on Radio 1 during their last UK tour in November of 2007. The next single “Gates of the Old City” came out on March 4th. Their 3rd single, “Spit for your Shine,” is slated to come out on April 15th, just in time for Looker’s third trip to the UK. Keep your eyes open for an LP in October 2008!