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  Do you like jam bands? How ‘bout soul? Do you ever get a jones for jazz or good old-fashioned rock with a southern tinge? If you answered “yes” to any of those, you should check out The Spins. On their debut CD, the Athens band takes all of these elements and melds them into an amazingly consistent sound that will undoubtedly and deservedly gain them a huge following. The star of the record is vocalist Chris Moore. Armed with an instrument somewhere between Sting and Seal, the singer’s jazzy phrasing soars over the impeccable musicianship of his band. “Deeper Than Now” could’ve sounded Phishy without such an expressive voice leading it. “Above It All” mixes crystalline Jimmy Page guitar licks with the heart of Muscle Shoals while “Eloise” might thrill Allman Brothers and Tony Bennett fans at the same time with its mix of unexpected, but comfortable Southern riffs and classic flannel-like vocals. “She Writes It In The Song” has a dancey, post-disco bounce with a slight incense smell and “Stones” could’ve taken the place of “Going To California” on Zep’s fourth album. The only thing missing here is a flat-out rocker. With the warm, fluid bass playing, weaving, wailing guitars, daring, in the pocket drumming and layered keys, I would’ve liked to hear them take some speed on for a spin. The hour and fifteen minute album does start to blend into one similar sound and could’ve used some editing and a few more dynamic tempo changes, but what The Spins do, they’ve clearly mastered. It’s worth a listen.

Chris McKay /