7" pop shots

May 5, 2004 at 12:00 am

The Sirens
“Chez Maximes”/”Glycerine Queen”/”Gudbuy T’ Jane”
Wiped Out Records (French import)

The Mystery Girls
“Turned On, Tuning In”/”Everybody’s Talkin’”/”Killing Floor”
Bancroft Records

The Hard Lessons
“Feedback Loop”/”Love Gone Cold”
Hard Lessons Records

The Tough and Lovely
“Tough and Lovely”/”The Lover’s Curse”
Spoonful Records

The Tranzistors and Princess Dragon Mom
“Free Electrizity”/”Free ’Lectricity”
Young Soul Rebels Records

The comely Sirens are piquant personalities — part trailer-court queens, part Max’s Kansas City trollops, part Chin/Chapman frothy fandom — able to sear their way into the tightest of trousers. All good, but Danny Doll Rod sib Muffy Kroha and her gang of Motor City chicks wrapping flank around a Suzi Quatro/Slade/Hollywood Brats triumvirate has us scratching our heads … somebody here is either co-opting the gen-u-ine glam-cum-bubblegum-nihilist as shtick for ironic capital gain, or herein lies a true love of the form, we can’t tell which. Who cares? We suspect Micky Most might’ve been proud of such chutzpah and curvage, and some things are downright sacred. Besides, kudos to any band with the cool prudence to tackle the swept-under-the-mat Hollywood Brats. Sirens play the Magic Bag Saturday, May 8.

Green Bay dude-quintet the Mystery Girls ain’t the same Detroit Mystery Girls that morphed into the Junk Monkeys years ago, or any one of the myriad Mystery Girls that sprung up in every suburb that sported a footballer-in-mom’s-garb faux glam scene in the ’80s. Nah, these cats were just slithering from mom’s womb then. But their numerous trips to this shelled-out burg and their enthusiastic skronk should qualify them as honorary Detroiters in some goddamned way. Shit, look at the Greenhornes. Anyway, complete with false starts and almost endings and a sideways spin on the crusty Timothy Leary adage, the smashing, twin-guitar churn of hyper-optimistic “Turned On, Tuning In” is worth the price of a chilly 40.

The multi-gendered Hard Lessons are a trim, smartly turned-out gee-rage and soul trio straight outta Lansing that suddenly has many traps yapping and whose live show is nearly as slick as seal ass. Side A’s a “My Generation” wink done with surprising aplomb while the flip builds to a bluesy boiling whirl of briny goo capped with droll love-gone-limp themes. Yeah! The Hard Lessons play the Magic Bag Saturday, May 8.

Another chix and dix combo who’ve been gigging frequently in these parts is Ohio’s the Tough and Lovely. They, uh, rock hard, with a penchant for burly songcraft (wow, remember that?) that simply bleeds like Interstate 80 road-kill on the eponymous side. Tough and Lovely play the Magic Stick Saturday, May 8.

Tranzistors (fronted by Dion Fischer, onetime Go and Godzuki dude) share dead dinosaur here with Warn DeFever’s Princess Dragon Mom. The former’s “Free Electrizity,” with railing guitar, droning sax and post-Eno-y blips and bleeps beckons us all to demand complimentary DTE current. The frolicking fuzzfest is buoyed by PDM’s “Free ’Lectricity,” a trip into the abstracto world of crossed wire and cable noise not meant to soothe the faint of heart, the soft and precious.

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