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Match 18th 2007

JUNKIE COUSIN: No Junkies Here

Written by Tina Costello

There is so much good talent in LA, so many good bands, that you become immune to it after a while. There is always the hope of finding that band that makes you stop in your tracks, mid sentence, and feel the wow factor smack you. But it's rare.

At Universal Bar & Grill, 4093 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, I found that band. Junkie Cousin amazed me. And that is not a slight feat, my friends. I took a break from reviewing Indy music some time ago, because, well let's face it, good is not great and there are only so many ways to stretch the adjective. But after the night was over, I went

straight home to my computer because this band has that "wow factor" and I have a driving need to tell you about them.

Lead singer, Danielle Egnew, has a liquid intensity that draws you in and holds the listener captive, craving more. When Egnew walked on stage to do a sound check, the crowd grew quiet. I don't recall the last time I have seen someone with such a commanding stage presence control a crowd and maintain it though out the set. Guitarist Paul Houston had the packed house roaring in applause after a killer solo. Rounding out the band were Bassist Rich Vaccaro who is just plain smooth and Drummer Ed Gray plays like a wildman.

"They've got it" I heard someone saying to another member of the audience. Even Eric Singer (drummer for KISS) was on hand enjoying the set.

The songs are edgy and smart. They don't just move – they flow and fuse and are completely memorable. Savvy too, were the free cd's that Junkie Cousin passed out to the crowd. It was more than a nice touch, it was simply impressive. Junkie Cousin has that quality, that illusive "wow factor", that makes a band great and that makes you come back for more.

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