Pretty Vanilla 7 Inches Deep

If the Archies existed circa 2009, they would be in a vicious battle with Vancouver's Pretty Vanilla for dominance over the world of mindless, saccharine pop rock. Festooned in early '70s Sweet-era glam, yet lacking the overt testosterone to come up with something as ballsy as "Fox On The Run," this power trio's four-song EP elicits comparisons to a garage-ier British Vodka Collins overtaken by the shuffling rhythm of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town" and T. Rex's more popular moments. The songs are well crafted and slinky but it's tough to get over such obvious references, wondering, why should we hear these as opposed to the originals? That and the heroin-chic, whiny/nasal vocal delivery is cringe-worthy. Still, this is the kind of stuff girly-girls dig for its pop sensibilities and trashy dudes in borderline-drag. (Independent)