Winelord: Winelord III (Bloat)

My latest musical crush is on the all-female punk trio Winelord, although I've yet to even lay eyes upon them. But I have played the group's full-length debut LP (yes, vinyl!) about a dozen times since getting it last week, and I still can't get enough. It's a killer record, among my favorite Tucson albums of 2010.

Representing a sound that is both vintage and completely now, the entire album is completely irresistible. These gals score aces for catchy, short songs with delightfully bratty vocals that balance a sense of girl-group melody and bubblegum hooks. But the real attraction of these 14 tunes—clocking in at a total of 21 minutes—is that they so convincingly embrace the loud-and-fast, balls-to-the-wall aesthetic of late-1970s and early-'80s garage-punk.

On some tracks, there's a bit of the classic SoCal hardcore vibe or even a tad of the Ramones. There's some of the come-hither sexual challenge of The Runaways elsewhere, and a little art-school minimalism here and there. The dizzying one-two punch of "Shakin'" and "Salt Mines" on Side 1 knocks my boots off, while Side 2 kicks off with the totally cool garage-rocker "Cheetah Boy."

Winelord can play as tightly as Sleater-Kinney, but their songs are as infectious as a ripped-jeans version of The Archies. Even Sonic Youth is invoked in the brain-draining no-wave guitar bridge of "Party Car."


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