By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jul 30, 2007 at 5:19 AM

White, Wrench, Conservatory. just might be the best musical surprise of the summer. Releasing its self-titled debut last month, the band is suddenly all over the place. And that's a good thing.

Fronted by leading lady Dixie Jacobs -- whose permeating vocals fiercely introduce the album to the airwaves -- W,W,C. is a three-piece that feels like a musical force of nature.

Matt Slater's mathy guitar parts intersect layered harmonies and dancey percussion, creating a flexible dynamic that runs the gamut from dreamy shoegaze to jolting bouts of new wave rock that commands your undivided attention. This is one to keep on your radar, folks.

We caught up with drummer Thom Geibel to see what he had to say about the band now that the record is out and to find out what's in store for us when the trio takes the Points East Pub stage on Thursday, Aug. 2.

OMC: What should the previously uninformed know, first and foremost, about the band before going to your show?

T.G.: Well, they should know is that it was really Miss White with the rope in the billiard room. Poor Yvette. And they call that the real ending of the movie. Pah. Let me tell you my ending. Wait ... maybe not. But let's just say it involves Yvette, a bottle of scotch, and a bear rug. Anyways, I don't know. It's hard to say. I guess people should know that if they see us out, they could buy us drink and then we can tell them anything they want to know about White, Wrench, Conservatory. Or the physics of black holes. Or how the development of the cosmopolitan self might lead to the enlightenment, but not so much in a Kantian way. Probably not that last one.

OMC: Suddenly, it seems as if your band is everywhere -- tons of shows, radio play on WMSE, press attention. How did you sneak up on Milwaukee and make it adore you, even before the record was out?

T.G.: This is probably a combination of things. Mostly cold medicine and coffee. Like a battle royale to see which one overpowers the other. Really I think it's Dixie. She's a super sweet person to everyone and she's a good networker. She actually cares about a lot of the music scene. She keeps good track of the happenings of bands, clubs, etc. I can bareley keep up with my laundry.

Also, I think we're doing something different in Milwaukee. Albeit, I don't mean that in a pretentious, we're-gonna-change-the-face-of-music-forever way. It's all been done. There are other bands that have the same set-up as us. But I think it's the approach and the style we take to the tunes based upon our musical experience -- this is the first band I've drummed in, Slater's first band where he's used any guitar pedals, and Dixie's first band ever. We try different things just because. Also having a really strong vocalist helps.

OMC: The band's been together since '05, so why the long stretch before releasing your self-titled debut last month?

T.G.: Well, we were kind of timid at first to start playing out. While Slater and I have been in the Kill-waukee music scene for over six years now, this was Dixie's first band. We formed in May 2005 but didn't play our first show until Valentine's Day 2006. Pretty much we wanted to play out awhile, figure out sounds and songs -- kind of give us a chance to grow comfortable with what we were doing. We started recording in October 2006.

OMC: Your album plays out like a wall of sound -- do the instruments out number the band members on stage?

T.G.: Well, live we're pretty much a three piece -- drums, guitar, keyboards/accordion. Once in awhile we'll have a friend come up and play something. Usually Josh from IfIHadAHiFi will play bass on a song or two. At our release though, we had a handful of peeps come and play. In the studio, it's another story. We added a bit more. I got to record a bunch of guitar, bass and some keyboard. Slater added some vocals and extra tasty sounds. And then Dixie. She knows how to layer harmonies on anything. Her extra vocals add so much to the songs. Really, the studio is fun because you get so much more to work with. But live is all about performance and energy.

OMC: Who else, musically, are you excited about right now in Milwaukee?

T.G.: There actually are a few bands I think are pretty cool. I'll say it. IfIHadAHiFi is mighty fine and not just because they're friends. They maybe noise but they're really poppy at the roots. The Kents are interesting. I like those boys. Good dirty post-punky rock. Brief Candles are amazing. Just so tasty. Jack Raasch is good. My other group is good: Quinn Scharber and the ... but I mean that and not purely for selfish reasons. It's really hard to pinpoint more because it seems so many pop up or just play a show and disappear.

OMC: Which one of you is obsessed with Clue?

T.G.: I blame Slater and Dixie. We were trying to think of names for a while and then I came to practice, voila. Oddly enough, we actually have not played Clue together as a band.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”