Saturday, July 2, 2011

SASSY!!! fuzzed-up blues punk that at times has a Misfits air to it

Sassy!!! (and I believe that is the right number of exclamation marks) is one of those rare bands which only consists of two people. These two people are Christa DiBiase and Lynda Mandolyn, the latter having had quite a career in bands including Inside Out and Fabulous Disaster. However, in Sassy!!! they perform under the monikers Kitty Largewood and Trixie Delicious, respectively.

What this duo produce is fuzzed-up blues punk that at times has a Misfits air to it, with dual vocals that bring to mind some of the widest influences I've heard in a band: think the Andrews Sisters (I expect many of you might have to Google them, but think the 1940s/1950s version of any current popular girl pop group); think 1960s/1970s Motown girl groups; or even just more modern pop/rock. They really do know how to mix the vocals up and this is where the variety comes into their work as the music is fairly consistent across the board.

Opening track “Honey Bee” combines the sludgy, swamp-like blues approach with that mid-20th century female vocal styling of the Andrews Sisters and does so effectively. You can almost taste the sugar in their voices—it is that sweet and is almost at odds with the music itself, but they manage to make it work time after time.

With tracks that conjure up thoughts of the Ramones (“So Bad It’s Good”), Sassy!!! use a primal approach that, despite its potential for a limited and monotonous outcome, does provide an interesting set of songs, with enough variety throughout to maintain one’s interest.

Lyrically, there is nothing startling, with a number of songs dealing with relationships, etc., but this is rock and roll and it is, at its core, a primitive and basic beast so Shakespeare it does not need to be.

The guitar really does drive this album along with riffs coming out of every track, sometimes repetitive across the track and at others with an abandon that is rocking yet still retaining an element of restraint. That being said, this isn't a record that is rushed, as every time I listen to it I feel like it’s going on for quite a while, although without getting the feeling that it is dragging at all.

The penultimate track “Be Alright” show a slightly different side to the band as it’s got quite a soporific, relaxed feel to it, but normal service is resumed with “Blink Once”, which thunders the album to a conclusion.

In addition to all artists mentioned above, there is also a hint of early 1970s glam rock (specifically Sweet) at times, which once again adds to the fairly eclectic feel behind what is quite a simple album (if that makes any sense).

Think of Sassy!!! as a more pop-minded Evil Beaver and you've got a bit of an idea of what’s going on here, which is an enjoyable romp through many ages and styles of music, albeit with the variety hung onto a rudimentary sound.

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