Mo-Dettes

  • Mo-Dettes
  • The Story So Far (UK Deram) 1980 

Four women — an American (guitarist Kate Korus), a Swiss (singer Ramona Carlier) and two Britons (gifted bassist Jane Crockford and drummer June Miles-Kingston, later of Fun Boy Three, Everything but the Girl and the Communards) — made up London’s Mo-dettes. Not as poppy as the Go-Go’s or as angular as the Slits or Raincoats, the Mo-dettes could play and weren’t afraid to show it. With a rough edge that never becomes too abrasive, they worked a productive Gang of Four-ish middle ground, tempering feminist consciousness with stirring tunes while avoiding polemics and overseriousness. The Story So Far has aged well, containing as it does the memorable “White Mouse Disco,” which could easily be mistaken for early Siouxsie or Penetration, an ode to the “Kray Twins,” a chilly cover of “Paint It Black” and the deliciously bouncy Edith Piaf oldie (in French) “Milord.”

[Ira Robbins]