SUDDENLY TAMMY: Spokesmodel
Suddenly Tammy has little to do with any particular person of that name, but the centerpeice of their sound is the voice of Beth Sorrentino, a wily and riveting female presence whose voice soars over a spartan instrumental bed provided by her brother Jay's drumming, Ken Heitmueller's basslines, and her own piano musings. Guitars? Who needs `em? That's what, as odd as it may sound, provides Suddenly Tammy with their punch-the added edge of the absence of certain expected sounds serves eerily to add an odd, skewed tension and ambiguity. Dark and brooding sometimes, others she's (Beth, not Tammy) extroverted and extravagant-we like her most when she's moody and scruffy, with all the unpolished hooks and knuckly charm left out in the open. Tasteful piano and punchy, stop-start time signatures intercede on Sorrentino's behalf in many instances, but there's never any real danger of her vocals warbling into the maudlin, black-skirt-clad terrain that plagued other female-voiced combos. Moments on Spokesmodel sparkle with a maturity and depth not often found in most groups this young, as on "The No Respect Girl," "Long Way Down" or "Fearless."