PRISSTEENS, THE: Demos & Rarities, Vol. 1: CS

This three-quarters-female quartet was the closest thing to the Muffs that the East Coast emitted back in the ’90s. While the attempted melding of girl-group sugarbeat vocals to punkly instrumental crunchings can always, at bare minimum, lure in a certain stripe of rube, I must admit that the main reason I bought their Scandal, Controversy and Romance album twenty years ago was because they had the drummer from the Devil Dogs, Mighty Joe Vincent. I liked the record fine, but wasn’t head-over-high-heels in love with it, as I thought it sounded like a somewhat too-shined-up version of what Long Gone John had been doing for a while over at Sympathy For The Record Industry, which was a concept that failed to excite me overmuch. These unearthed recordings knock that quasi-major sheen (they were signed to Herb Alpert’s Almo Sounds label, same label as Garbage and the Sugarcubes) off The Rock quite nicely; much to mankind’s delight, there’s an ass-kickingly rough edge to the guitar that no one was able to sneak in and fuck with. Every now and again, the vocal pitch and timber make me wonder if anyone has shot a text to Kim Shattuck, asking if she still has all her DNA, but, honestly, if that’s the worst thing someone can say about a record, you’d best get your wallet out. BEST SONG: “Outta Style.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Oh Billy!” and “Oh Howard!”, because they remind me of the “Oh Candy”/ “Oh Caroline” / “Oh Claire” concept which ran through the first three Cheap Trick albums. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: It takes balls to lead an album off with a Creation cover, but I’m not sure why and I’m also not complaining. –Rev. Nørb (Girlsville)