Though the whole soul revival bit has been done before--Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears--Los Angeles' Fitz and the Tantrums has an ace in its pocket: energetic co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs.
Scaggs and head crooner Michael "Fitz" Fitzpatrick's Motown-tinged "ooh, ooh, oohhhs" bounce off each other as naturally as the tambourine bounces off Scaggs' hip. In its review of Fitz and the Tantrum's debut release Pickin' Up the Pieces (Dangerbird Records), Spin Magazine said:
"Fitz and sidekick Noelle Scaggs can croon and wail like a biracial, male-female Hall & Oates, and with 'MoneyGrabber,' they've got their own 'Maneater.'"
The single "MoneyGrabber" showcases the best of what the self-proclaimed "Motown and soul-influenced indie pop" band has to offer. It starts off with an ass-shaking punch--maraca rattles and piano escalating into a full-on, sax-heavy jam session that sounds straight out of '60s Motown, with Fitz and Scaggs wailing, "Don't come back anytime / I've already had your kind / this is your payback / moneygrabber."
The band got its first big break when a member of Maroon 5 heard the debut EP playing at a tattoo parlor in New York City. Now the act is headlining its own tour, which includes a stop in Boise at the first Alive After Five of the season. Local high-energy trio Finn Riggins will kick the evening off with its brand of punk-tinged indie pop.