The Charms

Charmed, I'm Sure

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On their first album, Boston throwbacks the Charms keep one foot in two subtly but importantly different revivalist scenes. The snotty punk edge of the songs and Joe Wizda's crunchy lead guitar nod to the garage rock scene, while Russian émigré Kat Kina's gloriously weedy Farfisa organ runs and the delicious whiny edge in lead singer Ellie Vee's vocals place the Charms in the new wave revivalist camp. Charmed, I'm Sure rides that tension perfectly. Eleven songs that explore various elements of past masters like Blondie, the Count Five, the Ramones, and previous Boston faves like the Thrills (new wave rockers fronted by the late Barb Kitson, who had a similar sex kitten persona to the bad girl vibe Vee throws off in songs like "Dragonfly" and "Ragin' Angel"), Charmed, I'm Sure rises above the rest of the revivalists by dint of Vee's high quality songwriting. Instantly memorable songs like the wistful but angsty chronicle of a busted teenage friendship "Marianne" and the genuinely sweet love song "Boys Room" are as good as anything coming out of the post-millennial garage rock underground, not least because they aren't trying for some kind of genre-specific authenticity, but are simply solid, super-catchy pop songs.

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