The Glass Intact

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The Glass Intact represents a kind of apotheosis of '90s-era girl-punk -- Sarge brilliantly assimilates the emotional intensity of Sleater-Kinney, the melodic aggression of Team Dresch, and the sheer exuberance of Cub, yet their best trick of all is that they sound like an absolute original. Elizabeth Elmore is a true triple threat: a gifted composer, an acute lyricist, and a nakedly honest vocalist, her songs come fast and furious, but no amount of barbed-wire guitars can obscure the poignancy and desperation of standout tracks like "Stall" and "Charms and Feigns." And for all of Sarge's indie defiance, it's clear Elmore's misspent youth also included a steady diet of arena schlock -- her songs are built around unashamedly meaty riffs, and the wonderful "Beguiling" could even very well be the first real air-guitar song for riot-grrrls. The cumulative result is that regardless of labels -- punk, indie, whatever -- The Glass Intact is at heart a rock & roll album in the classic sense: cathartic, impassioned, and vividly alive.

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