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Same Sex Mary reflects its earthy Boulder City roots


It's a bright, crisp Wednesday afternoon, and Elvis' voice floats on the breeze that intermittently blows by.

"This is probably the most modern music you'll hear at this place," notes James Adams, singer-guitarist for Same Sex Mary, sitting at a table outside The Dillinger bar and restaurant in Boulder City.

Adams is elaborating upon how this town manifests itself in his band's music.

"There's an older community here and they have a lot of older music, so you hear it more often," he says, flanked by a pair of bandmates, drummer Mike McGuinness and singer-organist Tsvetelina Stefanova (all of whom also play in fellow Boulder City standouts Dude City).

Vintage sounds do figure prominently in Same Sex Mary's earthy, blues-saturated rock 'n' roll.

The band's promising debut, "Sex Cells," is alternately intimate and epic sounding, recorded on tape, with the group playing live in the studio.

"I can tell nobody here is having fun," Adams sings on seven-minute changeling "The Eye," and this bunch seems determined to change all that over the course of eight wide-ranging tunes, which brush up against everything from surf rock to gospel.

Songs routinely start in one place and end up in another ZIP code without feeling like an incongruous mash of influences. Take album closer "Growin' Up," for instance, which gradually transforms from cello-flecked acoustic longing into something decidedly more robust, with the guitars getting louder and surging drums serving as the song's pounding heartbeat.

"Sex Cells" is an album meant to be digested as a whole, which is why the band is intent on getting it pressed on vinyl, having recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to do so.

"When you have a CD, you'll skip around," Adams says. "When you've got a record, sure you can pick the needle up and put it down wherever you want, but you don't really do that. You sit there, you listen through it all, and you get the actual feel of the album."

Same Sex Mary began with Adams and Stefanova, who met each other while attending the Las Vegas Academy and have been dating for the past eight years.

"For a while, we just didn't do music together," Stefanova says. "But then we just decided, why not?"

Before recording "Sex Cells," the duo fleshed out their line-up with McGuiness as well as bassist Jason Aragon and guitarist Tyler Huddleston, who've added both torque and texture to the band's sound.

That, and a little levity.

"Just the level of fun we have is what keeps me around," McGuiness says.

Seconded.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Twitter: @JasonBracelin

 

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