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Are You Ready Now?

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Album Review

At long last, the garage revival has its very own Pandoras. Youngsters may not remember that L.A.-based all-female trash-rock quartet (two members of which formed the Muffs after the death of leader Paula Pierce), but in their early days, the Pandoras tore apart the polite revivalism and mainstream pop aspirations of the Go-Go's and the Bangles with a gleefully snotty take on Nuggets-style proto-punk, and although they unfortunately turned into an exceedingly lame hair metal band toward the end, their early material still sounds great today. So does Thee Minks' Are You Ready Now, a similarly untrammeled blast of neo-garage attitude. Songs like the booze-fueled "151 Girl" and the unapologetically aggressive "Shut Up and Kiss Me." ("Put your money where your mouth is and put that mouth on me!" is a demand worthy of at least Joan Jett, if not Iggy Pop.) A sly sense of humor colors all of these songs, particularly "(I Wanna) Do a Woggle," a tribute to the Georgia garage rockers of the '90s, as does a sense of history: alongside originals by singers Hope Diamond and Liz Lixx are fine covers of DMZ's '70s punk classic "First Time" and the moderately obscure Shandells track "Gorilla." There's nothing of great musical import here, but Are You Ready Now is unfailingly entertaining from start to finish.

Are You Ready Now?, Thee Minks
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