The Launderettes

Fluff 'n' Fold: The Best of the Launderettes

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The Launderettes hail from Oslo, Norway, but you can really find the all-girl quintet right in the middle of Garageland, a place where simple songs played as loudly as possible serve as the soundtrack. A place where the Runaways are the city council, the Count Five serve on the PTA, and Billy Childish picks up the trash. You get the drift. Fluff 'n' Fold: The Best of the Launderettes compiles songs from the group's two albums (2005's Every Heart Is a Time Bomb, 2002's Shaken and Disturbed) and an EP (Take Me to the Race) onto one handy collection perfect for shaking the cobwebs out of your slumbering brain. The Launderettes aren't raw and untamed (and it's clear they know their way around a modern studio), but unlike so many modern garage bands, they don't try too hard to pretend they are. Songs like the towering rocker "Fluff 'n' Fold," "I Wanna Jump Your Bones," and the punkette anthem "What Would Joan Jett Do?" are crisp, nasty, and economical. The guitars are overdriven but under control, the drums simple and loud, and -- most importantly -- Ingvild Nordang appears to have studied at the Holly Golightly school for vocal restraint. She sounds supremely cool on "Juvenile Thrills," wanly melancholic on the autumnal ballad "No Good," and icily sweet on "Fading Out" -- and generally raises the band four or five notches above the average band of garage nostalgists. The Launderettes won't make anyone's short list of best modern garage rock bands, male or female, but they are a hot rocking good time and that's really what it's all about.

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