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Friday, Nov. 2, 2007
Various Artists "Good Girls Don't! Neo"
Nowhere does squeaky grrrl-punk as well as Japan. Heck, it's one of the country's top selling points, as music fans lured here by Shonen Knife or the output of the Benten label will attest.
Groovie Drunker Records' all-girl series of "Good Girls Don't!" compilations offers a glimpse of the potential underground stars of tomorrow. Sure, though a goodly few of the bands on "Neo" are overly kitsch or just plain forgettable, there are also some superb tooth-rotters to ice the cake of rock 'n' roll.
Highlights include "Crayon," a kinetic slice of power-pop by The Monmons; the filthy groove and cheap electronics of "Burning Tiger, Screaming Me" by Hazel Nuts Chocolate; and flea-brained punk-pop from Stinky Rat on "C-A-N-D-Y."
To augment the nonstop sugar rush, quieter moments include the mellow "Last Knight Samurai" by Napolitans, awash with whimsical synth and vocal melodies to match; and "Down You Know I Love You So" by Motown soundalikes The Margarettes.
OK, few of these bands are likely to set the world alight (although GGD! alumni Ketchup Mania are currently doing brisk business both in Japan and America). But punk-pop is supposed to be fun, and in that, "Good Girls Don't! Neo" excels. Just don't forget to clean your teeth.