Various Artists

Alright, This Time Just the Girls, Vol. 2

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Long Gone John, the man behind the prolific indie label Sympathy for the Record Industry, loves gals and he loves rock & roll, so it stands to reason that he loves to hear gals play rock & roll. In 1999, Sympathy released a double-disc compilation of 48 female-fronted acts called Alright, This Time Just the Girls, and this follow-up features another 30 numbers from women who make with the big beat (most of whom have also recorded for Sympathy at one time or another). While a handful of acts appear on both sets (among them's, the Muffs, the Detroit Cobras, and the Banana Erectors), this slightly leaner set boasts plenty of new acts and makes for a stronger listen than the first collection -- while pop-flavored punk and high-energy garage rock dominate this set, it also finds room for pioneering rockabilly filly Wanda Jackson, Billy Childish-approved chanteuse Holly Golightly, alt-country angst queen Lisa Marr, and goth-accented rockers Scarling. Even more important, the sizable majority of the tunes on deck are long on hooks, energy, and cool, especially "Tongue Tied" by Tina & the Total Babes, Candypants's paean to the joys of "Nerdy Boys," the British Invasion-style "The Way I Feel About You" from the Bristols, and "Our Favorite Thing" from the always frantic Supersnazz. Alright, This Time Just the Girls, Vol. 2 falls well short of documenting the full achievement of women in music today, but that also isn't what Long Gone John had in mind -- he wanted to serve up 79 minutes of fun and furious music from gals with swagger to spare, and on that score this disc delivers the goods in spades. Fun liner notes from LGJ's daughter Taggy Lee, too.

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