Seeing Red

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The debut release from this youthful band is similar to early albums by the Go-Go's, Blondie, or Josie & the Pussycats. Led by vocalist Colette Trudeau, the band attacks each song with pure hard rock riffs with a tinge of punk added. "Don't Leave Me Alone" is quite infectious on immediate listen, and relatively free of the sugar-coated harmonies teen acts are often guilty of. "Hardcore" is edgier and resembles a softer Stone Temple Pilots in certain places. The album also features some solid arrangements, particularly the latter verses that build one on top of another. The group's songwriting is generally strong, despite some overly simplistic choruses. "Johnny Johnny" is, perhaps, the first miscue on the record, a song which seems a bit aimless and forced throughout. Thankfully, "Emotional Griptape" re-focuses the album on what works best for the band, namely a good beat and better guitar work. The song also features some help from Bif Naked, but it belongs distinctly to the band, as Bif's fingerprints aren't found on the track listing. Trudeau sounds closest to Gwen Stefani here. The signature track has to be the sardonic "I'm Afraid of Britney Spears," a stellar power punk song that shows a maturity far beyond the girls' years. Taking to task various boy bands, as well as Milli Vanilli, the song isn't as shallow as one may expect. "They're so worried about what we'll think/They took the time to learn to lip-sync," Trudeau belts out to a grandiose, yet tight arrangement. Perhaps the boldest song is "All Night Long," the band's own homage (perhaps) to Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused." The song has a murky, blues guitar working through it. "Fake" is one of the worst tracks here, another song that sounds far too rushed, as though it was added as filler. The closing songs aren't filler, but seem a bit formulaic. Nonetheless, the album reeks of the girl groups of the early '80s, but definitely has a modern and credible tilt to it.

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