Operators (Boston) Citizen's Band

Citizen's Band is an impressive debut album from this three-gal, one-guy, Boston-based quartet. It's your standard ruff'n'ready pop rock with a DIY approach, yet it is done with quite a lot of panache for first timers. The Sleater Kinney/Throwing Muses comparisons are most obvious, with oodles of trade-off vocals, scuzzy guitars and bass thump'n'grind, and there's also some minimalist Raincoats strumming to lighten the load a bit. At times, lead vocalist Emily Arkin (who is apparently a classically trained violinist) gets the Kim Gordon vocodorised monotone moans so down pat that it's freaky - you know, that whole sounding like the growls of a wounded, yet lounging, lioness thing. A surface level scan would indicate a mean and snarling aesthetic, but the pop hooks and wry lyrics reveal an underlying sense of fun. And for a band that's organised a Punk Rock Crafts Fair and an Indie Rock Mini Circus (as well as helping out with Ladyfest NYC 2001), that's not surprising at all. (Unstoppable)