C'mon Let's Pretend works with a less polished Sahara Hotnights, uncovering a raw, stylish presentation for an impressive first album. Initially released in Europe in 1999, C'mon Let's Pretend is a jagged punk mix of Joan Jett-like attitude and arena-sized guitar work. Stateside fans will quickly take to frontwoman Maria Andersson's vocal snarls and growls, particularly on the campy rockabilly romp "Drive Dead Slow." "Quite a Feeling" and "Too Cold for You" hit upon thick pop hooks while the Asplund sisters provide cheeky harmonies around an aggressive rock jaunt. Even when their brazen demeanor shifts tempo for the stainless melodies of "That's What They Do" and "Wake Up," Sahara Hotnights offers a musically cultivated sophistication that's missing in bands like the Donnas and the Vines. C'mon Let's Pretend doesn't imitate rock & roll in the sense of charming the majors. Sahara Hotnights doesn't have time to fake it because the band simply doesn't care to.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson