In a pinch this review could be one sentence long, because a single idea kept running through my head while watching Matte Black Silhouettes at Circus last Thursday: "Wow, these guys are a great Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover band."

In a pinch this review could be one sentence long, because a single idea kept running through my head while watching Matte Black Silhouettes at Circus last Thursday: "Wow, these guys are a great Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover band."

But since I've got a few hundred words to work with, I want to do more than merely accuse this Columbus quartet of blatant mimicry.

It's true that Matte Black Silhouettes are a sleek, sexualized garage rock combo. They indeed have no bass player. And they're fronted by a prancing, sassy lass named Krista K.

Yet despite the striking similarities to the Brooklyn elites in their early days, there are some other elements at play.

Let's start with Krista's vocals. Though she does specialize in Karen O-style squeals and beckoning moans, she also has a blues-punk banshee mode that recalls Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker or even Reba Con Queso from this city's very own Jellyhearts. Krista knows when to hold back on the vocal slice-and-dice and how to let 'er rip at the moment of tension.

She's not as good at pulling off the traipsing lead singer shtick. And that's just the problem: It feels like a shtick. Krista has her occasional keeled-over moments, but too often they reek of calculation, not the rock raunchiness suggested by her "I stalk the stage like I stalk the street" attire. If you're going to do the saucy rock 'n' roll vixen routine, you've got to go all out.

It feels like Krista's doing a half-committed impression of her heroes instead of really cutting loose and being herself up there. Nonetheless, there's potential waiting to be fully realized.

I would be remiss to completely "Don't Speak" this up by ignoring the rest of the band, faceless co-conspirators though they may be. The guitarists in particular played with both muscle and finesse, adding just enough melodic chime and rhythmic intrigue to songs that mostly mucked around in swampy blues-rock realms.

Their combined talent suggests they've got the pieces to achieve something grander. I'll be eager to see whether they make the leap.