Last week, the esteemed record geeks at Numero Group released Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground, a compendium of shadow Shangri-Las and rando Ronettes. One of the more revealing tracks is by Belles, a teenage rock rager whose single 7-inch, released in 1966, makes them one of the slew of mysterious, mostly forgotten all-girl beat groups and garage rock crews predating hard rockers and proto-punks like the Shaggs, Fanny and the Runaways.
Formed in Miami Beach, the Belles played dances and an area Air Force Base, garnered a local newspaper feature and some radio appearances and recorded a single 7-inch on Hollywood, Florida-based label Tiara: The A-side, version of Them’s “Gloria” with the genders swapperd for a boy named Melvin; the B-side, the raucous “Come Back,” written by 14-year-old guitarist Debbie Teaver. Available of the CD version of Basement Beehive (and on streaming services), “Come Back” is a two-minute-27-second blaze of jangle and harmony. It sounds like the Raincoats a decade early – if they sang about longing instead of alienation.