A jokey but mostly reverent homage to the glory days of L.A. girly punk (circa 1981), Tina & the Total Babes' She's So Tuff is a gleefully trashy cruise through the bubblegum-punk tunes and attitude-filled lyrics of a scene too often forgotten. Tina Lucchesi (also of the surf-rocking Trashwomen) is a perfect frontwoman for songwriter/producer Travis Ramin's pitch-perfect tunes of teenage angst at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The songs themselves are absolutely terrific; the melodramatic "Tragedy," which sounds like the Go-Go's covering the Shangri-Las, is alone worth the price of admission but the presentation and attitude are so equally perfect that She's So Tuff is every bit the equal of the records that inspired it. In fact, it may be better! If the names Holly & the Italians (whose snot-rocking classic "Tell That Girl to Shut Up" gets a much better cover than Transvision Vamp's 1988 mess), the Little Girls, Nikki & the Corvettes, Josie Cotton or Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo mean anything to you, say hello to Tina & the Total Babes.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason