We admit to harboring a bias against grown women who sing in high, reedy, little-girl voices (think Jewel, Gwen Stefani or that awful, awful Nelly Furtado), which is made all the more annoying when they try to croon atop layers of beefy, loud, tough-sounding guitars and drums. It just doesn't mix well for our persnickety ears. We like our chick yelpers with a good dollop of grit and pissed-off-ness, which may be why we like Foxy's Lisa Parker so much. But, aye, there's the progressive's eardrum conundrum: Are we really saying we like women singers to sound like men? That we prefer them to excise any hint of their sexuality in order to satiate our inner Ted Nugent? We pondered this as we listened to Fullerton's Starcrasher, an all-woman band. Singer Natalie Poole's voice starts out soft and lovely on such tracks as "Okay," with its slow and melancholy intro, but becomes positively steroidal once the guitars and drums kick in. Starcrasher are primarily a rock band, and Poole is good and growly most of the time, like on the great, crunchy, fuck-you anthem "Everything" and the groove-heavy, Foo Fighters-esque "Need to Know." "Ampersand" is harder still, as close to sweet-tasting punk as Starcrasher get, spewing what they have to spew in slightly over two minutes. Most of the time, that's all you really need anyway.
OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.
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