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Fricke's Picks: Norwegian Devil Dolls

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It is not patronizing to call the Cocktail Slippers — five women from Norway who make their own garage-rock racket and sing their you-done-me-wrong songs with avenging-angel-army harmonies — a girl group. It's straight shooting. The line from Lesley Gore's 1963 hit "She's a Fool" and Connie Francis' 1964 single "Don't Ever Leave Me" to the Slippers' robust covers on Saint Valentine's Day Massacre (Wicked Cool) runs right through the no-pushover sugar of the Shangri-Las and, in Slippers singer Modesty Blaze's challenging purr, Blondie's Deborah Harry. The Slippers also draw, expertly, from the boys in love with that sound — the Ronettes-with-fuzz yearning of the Ramones; Bruce Springsteen's way with Brill Building mini-opera — in the shiny charge of "Sentenced to Love" and the carousel-organ rolls in the title track (written by Springsteen guitarist and Slippers co-producer Steven Van Zandt). In full hosanna, in songs such as "In the City" and "Gotta Crush," the Slippers sound a lot like the Go-Go's but with gats instead of L.A. cheer, and a mule kick in their high heels. It's all retro action but written and detonated with the study and delight of modern rock & roll women in constant touch with their inner filly.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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