Les Hell on Heels

Les Hell on Heels

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Assembling out of two earlier bands in the band's Arizona hometown, Les Hell on Heels cling to a fine belief -- namely, that bad-girl snot-garage bands like the Runaways and the Pandoras aren't aberrations from a presumed standard but reasons to exist. With some patronage from Jeff Dahl (whose "Ain't So Cool" gets covered), the foursome turn up with a fine eleven-song debut; right from the sassy start of "My Kind of Trouble" it's clear that the four know how to work it all well. Lead singer Paula Monarch has the kind of deliciously in-your-face sneer that suggests one who doesn't suffer fools gladly. Jack Endino proves to be an astute choice for producer, with the same ability to capture rough-and-ready energy evident as much as he was able to show with Mudhoney and others years before. If one word can cover everything here, it's 'swagger' -- songs like "He's Alright" and "Waste of Time" could almost coin the term in both the singing and the brawling, rolling punch of the band (big credit to both Chela LaRue and drummer Kristin Mackynski). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the band's and album's best song is "Hell on Heels" itself, with an arrangement that suggests the underrated "Keep It Clean" by the Vibrators but lyrics with their own bite ("Give me your heart/Gonna add it to my wall!"). Quick and to the point (the album is over and done with before the half-hour mark), Les Hell on Heels' debut makes for a good start if the band choose to stick with it -- word is that at least two more albums will follow.

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