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GIRLS (Buy CDs by this artist)
The Girls (Ger. Radio Blast) 2004 (Dirtnap) 2004

These Seattle new wave revivalists (not the late '70s Boston rock band or the late '90s Chicago punk trio) sound more like an '80s also-ran than the worthy bands they ape: mostly Devo, Missing Persons and the Cars. Singer Shannon Brown seems to want very badly to be Richard Hell, and keyboardist Eric Nordlund tries way too hard to sound 1982. While the songs aren't horrible ("4 a.m." and "She's Hysterical" are notably decent), it's hard to see the point of a record that sounds like the so-so sophomore effort of a flash-in-the-pan group with funny hairdos. Drummer Mario Martusciello, bassist Nick Markel and guitarist Zache Davis might make some interesting noise untethered from skinny tie fetishism, but overall, the quintet is at best a cover band in need of the right songs.

[Jim Glauner]