The retro-rock newcomers boast a bewitching frontwoman, galloping adventure-rock rhythms, and a guitarist with a degree in obscure ’70s metal.

Fans of proto metal know all too well how the realm is largely male dominated. But Laura Dolan’s hypnotic voice provides respite as frontwoman for Cincinnati’s Electric Citizen. Her witchy timbre is at times mysteriously androgynous and eerily sexy. Another refreshing aspect of this band’s brand of freak-flag-flying anthems resonates in their pace. Rather than trudge along at the lumbering cadence of so many other likeminded longhairs, Electric Citizen favors the galloping, adventure-rock rhythms found on early Judas Priest records.

“Light Years Beyond” is a great introduction to their sonic sorcery. It introduces the band’s debut album, Sateen,with the tempo of charging warhorses trained for jousting. Even the fidelity here sounds painstakingly mixed to include the hiss of that magical time in the late ’70s and early ’80s when every rocker’s hair was feathered to resemble the wings of a mythological griffin.

Although guitarist Ross Dolan probably doesn’t groom his hair back with one of those really big plastic combs, his sinister leads play with period-correct aplomb. His overlapped lines tangle together chaotically and straighten back out just like classic heavy metal solos of yore. He’s probably one of those guys who’s not afraid of wearing a faded Manilla Road t-shirt to meet his girlfriend’s mom.

Want to play different pedal sequences in a flash? These handy boxes provide more tone solutions than you might realize.

There is no right or wrong way to wire a pedalboard. It’s really a matter of personal taste and what our ears find pleasing. Every musician has their own thing, and our pedalboards are certainly an extension of that. For some, reconfiguring the pedalboard is a lifelong process, and adding a new device often means something has got to go, because real estate is crucial!

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

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My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

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