Highschool Sweethearts

Heels N Wheels

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Less cartoonish and contrived than the Donnas, New Jersey's co-ed Highschool Sweethearts cover a similar Ramones-inspired terrain on Heels N Wheels with more persuasive results. Steered by guitarist John Steele and frontwoman Cynthia Santiglia, the Sweethearts fuse pop with punk and sprinkle it with garage dust while ditching the AC/DC baseball jerseys for the love of Blondie, as evidenced by "Everybody." Buzzsaw guitars steer "Cherry Hi-Way," a hook-injected song that recalls the Primitives and Transvision Vamp, and if the band's straight-up take on David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" offers little in the way of innovation, the group plays with the kind of energy and passion that's hard to discount.

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