Sunset on Dateland

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Mixing three parts punk attitude, two parts pop hookiness, and one part '70s rock swagger, Visqueen pick up where they left off with their fine debut album on the sophomore effort, 2004's Sunset on Dateland. Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Rachel Flotard is once again the star of the show here, though drummer Ben Hooker and bassist Kim Warnack are, if anything, a stronger rhythm section this time out, giving the songs a solid framework and pushing them forward with power and smarts. But Flotard is out front in this band for a good reason -- she's got the goods, singing like the highly attitudinal kid sister of Kristin Hersh, playing guitar with plenty of crunch and melodic force, and writing tunes that don't sacrifice intelligence for attitude. In short, Sunset on Dateland rocks on out, and does it without compromising or condescending; at it's best, it's the album you've always wished the Muffs would make, or Courtney Love could make.

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