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Hissyfits | Letters From Frank | review | punk | Lollipop

The Hissyfits

Letters From Frank (Top Quality Rock & Roll)
by Jamie Kiffel

Remember The Misfits? Well, tame that straight-spiked punk with plenty of sugar, sass, and the touch of three sweet, young things, and you've got the prettily punky, good-humored Hissyfits. Fon-Lin, Princess, and P-Girl (they credit "Princess and the P Music") pixie-shout and harmonize over powerchords and a garage-variety makeshift drumset about love, stalking men, firing guns, and calling the cops. Most of this sounds like energetic collegiate rock pumped up with Go-Gos-like harmonies and hooks, occasional spoken samples, and Bikini Kill-esque yelled lead-ins ("Kiss the girls and make them cry!" on "911," for instance).

The most noteworthy track is "Superstar," a fantastic, simple riff about a teenage girl's dream of being a rock'n'roll sensation. Complete with a strong chorus, lyrical story and synthesized bridge, it's the most accomplished song on the album. And with the repeated line, "I don't wanna fade away," makes a heart-swelling anthem for rebellious rock-lets. "Giant Ants," based on Blondie's "Attack of the Giant Ants," is unfortunately no great thrill, and aside from a strange foray into folk ("Doin' Fine") and a '50s ballad inexplicably gone fuzzed-and-punk ("Today is the Day"), the remaining tracks range from muddy-but-listenable to short and shruggable. Still, the band is certainly worth the ticket price of the occasional adrenaline rush because when they hit, they hit hard.
(PO Box 1240 New York, NY 10009)


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