It might be 1985, but for an unsuspecting club-goer who wandered into Lingerie on Friday night, it was like the Sunset Strip of the '60s all over again. In a show promoting the ROIR Records' cassette "Garage Sale," four local bands outlined the joys of go-go boots, mini-skirts, paisley shirts and sounds based on such early Stones-inspired Sunset Strip cavemen as the Seeds or Standells.
These and other '80s garage bands might be criticized for retrogressive attitudes, but there is a naive charm and youthful excitement to these musicians who are striving for the authenticity of an era that was over before most of them were born. If there is one L.A. group that is growing beyond the limitations of this scene, it is probably the Pandoras. This all-female quartet, led by tough-girl Paula Pierce, is more interested in raw power than time-warp fashion.
The Pandoras present an interesting stance--leader Pierce is stridently sexy, a post-feminist insisting that her man satisfy her or "flake off!" Her scream-drenched vocals get a little tiring, but the group's simple, but sharp songwriting, colorful presence and ferocious energy make this an outfit to watch. The remaining bands--the Unclaimed, the Tell-Tale Hearts and the Things--were promising and fun but lacked the contemporary focus of the headliners.