Right off the bat, The Bad Ideas’ frontwoman dominates the mix, wielding a reverb-drenched howl à la Siouxsie Sioux to great effect. The anarcho-leaning gothy sound is complemented by discordant riffs and blunt, driving drums. “I’m Stuck” mixes in some well-placed ranting, delivered in that perfect sarcastic riot grrrl sneer. Not usually my jam, but this band nails it (despite the mystifying refrain of, “Wussification of America!” which sounds like a misplaced Glenn Beck segment). Red Kate’s tracks on the flip side are less immediately arresting, but subdued might be what works best for them anyway. “On My Mind” has a plaintive ‘90s alt-rock feel that overshadows the more punk, less memorable follow-up track. All in all, a worthwhile slice of Midwestern punk rock.
–Indiana Laub (Mills, [email protected], millsrecordcompany.com)