There were a good seven years where the music was lean for me. It started when Kurt Cobain decided that he’d rather burn out than fade away, and it ended when I got my hands on The Strokes debut album, Is This It in 2001. In the middle I was forced to play Nirvana’s Nevermind and rediscover my Beatles collection. Anything was preferable to the ear bleeding efforts of post-grunge hacks like Creed, Three Doors Down, and Fuel. Whether you are a fan of The Strokes or not, their much-hyped introduction opened the door to a bevy of new rock acts that were influenced by The Velvet Underground and Joy Division, instead of Soundgarden and Collective Soul.
It’s hard to keep track of all of the new groups recording, touring, and generally making rock interesting again. Which is why it was a nice surprise to stumble along Miss Argentina in January. I reviewed their live show here last month. Their debut release is titled Yes I Am No You Can’t, and I can only hope that the title is some dirty little secret of lead singer Mercedes, whose sex appeal is matched only by her stage presence and Chrissie Hynde-esque vocals.
The album is more EP than LP, but Miss Argentina is going for quality over quantity, and the result is 20 minutes of sexually charged punk rock music with plenty of hooks. The songs are driven by lots of chunky guitar riffs backed by considerably weighty drumming. The album opens with “No One Will Know”, which is good enough to nearly carry the album on its own. It doesn’t need to. Other memorable cuts include “Playboy”, “Beretta” and “Dance With Me”.
But the band is driven by its muse, Mercedes, formerly of Havalina Rail Co. Havalina’s loss is Miss Argentina’s considerable gain, as Mercedes has the moxie necessary to take Miss Argentina from smoky rooms in the Mid-Atlantic to wherever else they’d like to go. Throw in a cover of any Pretenders classic and I’d be completely smitten.
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