Katie Serbian-Brouillette used to be “the red-headed one” in fembot strummers Dum Dum Girls, until she left the band to pursue this project, which she's apparently been working up the courage to premiere for a decade. This first single off of the first 7-inch for Art Fag is a blistering addition to the growing retinue of female-fronted rough and tumble power-pop (think La Sera, Colleen Green, and Frankie Rose, another former Dum Dum Girl). Usually I don't like to talk about if a band is like “a girl band” or not, but there is a common thread here. This is punchy, driving guitar-pop made by women, and as more and more bands add themselves to the genre I think we have to acknowledge a pattern emerging.
Cheap Curls keeps the vocal register low, grounding “Jackie Oh” in the Southern Californian tradition of tough girl-pop like Joan Jett, but her voice almost has a shadow behind it, giving what might be a jaunty hand-clapper a good deal of serious weight. Cheap Curls hasn't performed live yet; your first chance to see this band will be at the Art Fag/Zoo Music/Impose Magazine showcase at the Longbranch in Austin next Friday.