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PRISSTEENS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Scandal, Controversy & Romance (Almo Sounds) 1998

Good girls don't, so thank heavens for those who do. Growing up in Indiana, Lori Yorkman was a model citizen of Carmel High School: cheerleader, student council, tennis team, track team. She was voted best typist in junior high. Then Miss Goodbooks moved to New York, fell in with a good bad element (guitarist Leslie Day, possessor of a terrifying graveyard scream; guitarist Tina Canellas and ex-Devil Dogs drummer Joe Vincent), got a tattoo, picked up a big ol' bass and commenced to singing the devil's music. Although the Prissteens' frontline initially had more style and jiz than skill, the quartet was soon packing 'em in to see such surly fun originals as "Beat You Up," "I Don't Cry" and "The Hound," an homage to their manager, writer/indie radio star Jim Marshall. The album, produced by Richard Gottehrer and Jeffrey Lesser, is a garage blast that touches on various forms and degrees of noisy punky kitsch (imagine spawn of the Shangri-La's and the Fleshtones) and is — for the most part — wall-to-wall modern fun. (Delving into the actual past, to cover the Merseys' "Sorrow," a '60s song revived brilliantly by Bowie on Pin-Ups, leads the group nowhere good.) Neither cutesy nor overly nostalgic, the Prissteens take their music, not themselves, seriously.

[Ira Robbins]