Boy Trouble E.P. (self-released, 2014) Boy Trouble E.P. (self-released, 2014)

The Drendas - Boy Trouble E.P. (self-released, 2014)

Blame it on the glue.  The accusation sounds like a lame excuse to get out of doing an assignment, but I swear on the life of Uncle Elmer that it's the absolute truth. 

Two weeks ago, Hardcore Norfolk's Queen Bee forwarded a review copy of the debut release from these basement babes.  Even with minimal knowledge of The Drendas' Mach-Two songs and style, Greg Womack's 60's-inspired album art and design hinted at the sultry sounds yet to come from my 14-year-old bookshelf stereo speakers.  Any hope of an afternoon party was crashed when the CD failed to establish a readable connection on the main system, a stray boombox, my nephew's PlayStation 2 and the downstairs computer.   Chalking it up to a case of unintentionally damaged plastic, Debra promptly sent an exact  replacement in a folded orange sheet with two stamps in the right corner.  Once again, all I heard from the four components was an eleven-minute symphony of silence.  Per careful examination, flame-like etchings appeared to have been carved on the business sides of the defective discs.  Why would anyone display an impromptu art project entirely too close to the laser?  A quick flip to the visual and printed info solved the Scooby-Doo mystery:  The label had flaked in several spots, thus the reason for an apparent chiseling/ scissors attack on the reverse surface.  If it hadn't been for those mangy workers of the United States Postal Service and their fancy schmancy tools of scanning and demagnetization, I would've listened to The Drendas much earlier than now!

Recently, I posted a rather insulting status update on Facecrack.  To paraphrase:  "KISS' 'Reason To Live' belongs on one of those budget 'Women Who Rock' compilations found in the back of a Big Lots clearance display."  Rather than joining the likes of (artificial) Heart's (completely) Bad Animals era and Roxette's joyless ride into a Hades of the 1980s, Holly (guitar/vocals), Denise (bass) and Collette (drums) align more with the credible acts featured on both volumes of Bomp! Records' seminal Battle Of The Garages collections from said decade.  You might pair your Taco Hell A.M. Crunch Crap with "What About Love?", "Listen To Your Heart" and the nonsense from whomever is in charge of 2WD's "Breakfast Bunch" these days, but I'd much prefer to spoon sugary Puffed Wheat while spinning The Pandoras on a Pandora station.  On that dial, The Drendas could easily work their way into a rockin' rotation of The Shangri-Las, Suzi Quatro, The Trashwomen, The Bobbyteens and The Lonely Teardrops.  "My heart is not your toy/Don't you try to play coy" is the keynote address on "Bad Boy," but the irresistibility of a next-door neighbor pounds such a pronouncement in the chest ("I guess I like the abuse/I'd leave, but what's the use?). "Problems" is far more direct with its affections ("I'm in love with a boy/But it's not you/The problem is you're such a needer/And I don't need you").  "I was a fool to gamble with your heart" rides The Tide back to the stops of vulnerability and regret while placing a "Stupid Bet." "Get The Hook" leaves a Verizon voicemail before Sprint-ing towards the disconnect of expectation ("I waited all night for you to call/You know my phone didn't ring at all").  

Hey, ladies:  Uncle Elmer wants you to send some stickers his way.  He promises to spread the word by sticking 'em on STOP signs all over Chuckatuck.  

Gunther 8544

Give me 20 days to write something for Hardcore Norfolk, and I'll piss away 19 of 'em.  Which is why my career caps on the site hover around 30 instead of 300.  Nonetheless, I am occasionally inspired by talented folks who call the Tidewater area home.  Believe it or not, glowing marks have been awarded to individuals unbeknownst to me.  My mathematician side would like to construct an NCAA March Madness-like bracket representing the 64 greatest bands in our region's history.  Perhaps Debra, Paul and I will assemble in a conference room somewhere in Suffolk and bring the draw sheet to life.