More Josie and the Pussycats than Cat Scratch Fever, the L.A.-based Faster Pussycat--which played at the Palace on Thursday--is the sort of band your 9-year-old daughter might like: a mop-headed, neo-hard-rock quintet of dudes who move as if they'd learned to perform by watching Saturday-morning cartoons. (If Guns N' Roses had ever made an animated show like KISS, it would have been like this, even if Faster Pussycat is cuter.)
The band sounds a little like a trashed-out Sweet, or a heavy-metal version of the 1910 Fruit Gum Company. Give 'em points for goofiness, though at one point during the sold-out show, unambiguously named lead singer Taime Down said, "This has to be one of our best shows ever; we're great up here," which makes ironic intent somewhat harder to infer.
The stage set looked like an art director's vision of an arty teen-ager's messy room. The chops aren't exactly awe-inspiring--the dudes spent most of their long set staring down at their guitar necks, trying to figure out whether they were playing the right chord or not--not an unattainable goal for pre-teens to aspire to. The anti-craftsmanship is kind of punk-rock, which is kind of cool. And the winking double-entendres are of the sort a little girl won't pick up until junior high, so all the references to cat houses may only be making them nostalgic for Hello Kitty.