The Flytraps

Wild Card

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Listen up, Tuff Gurls of the world: you have a new comrade, and she's a real asset to the team. Her name is Kristen Cooper, and she sings lead and plays bass in the Flytraps, a rockin' combo from Orange County, California whose first proper album, 2020's Wild Card, is a soul-satisfying blast of hard-rockin' attitude, howling guitars, and Cooper's flamethrower vocals. She's far from the first garage punk acolyte who has tapped into her inner Tura Satana, but she's a lot better than most: her articulate snarl shows no mercy and manages to sound dangerous but welcoming on "Female of the Species," perverse on "Baby's a Freak," and hellbent on wild good times on "Action." Cooper may be center stage on Wild Card, but her bandmates do more than their share to give her the raw power she needs. Beth Boyd and Chloe Z. Young are a heavyweight tag-team guitar combination, setting up a Wall of Sound that brings together the band's punk, garage, and hard rock influences with high style and enough crunch for a year's supply of corn flakes, while drummer Fabian Ruiz manages to not only keep up with these troublemakers, he gives them the fuel to push this music into orbit. You could say that the Flytraps are mining a sound and style that have been around since the Runaways bought their first guitars, and you wouldn't be wrong, but any story can sound fresh if it's told in the right way, and Wild Card tells the tale like a master. These 12 songs are a beckoning invitation to all manner of pleasures the authority figures have warned you about, and with Kristen Cooper as their pied piper, the Flytraps will take you on the ride of your life. Bring some bail money and you'll be just fine.

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