Slumber Party

3 (Kill Rock Stars)

The Detroit-based, four-piece, female band Slumber Party lays down a hypnotic groove based on several layers of lulling dream-like vocals and mildly distorted keyboards and guitars. The whole formula harks back to the Velvet Underground, with whom they share a staccato pulse and flirtation with transcendent beauty. Other comparisons could include the My Bloody Valentine of Loveless. But Slumber Party also maintains a garage-y primitivism that puts it in the same league as such previous all-female garage queens as the Muffs, Pandoras, and the Brood.

On their eponymously titled third album -- and best effort so far -- Slumber Party's members combine all of these ingredients into an appealing blend of retro stylings, from the "Be My Baby" intro of "Electric Boots" to the jungle-rock of "No Sleep Tonite," which once again evokes the Velvet Underground. Aliccia Berg, who also plays guitar, organ, and piano, sings not unlike Nico, but it would do her a disservice to suggest she's just another studied icicle queen.

The '60s garage-rock sound of "On-T.V." -- heavy on the psychedelic organ -- makes it the standout track on the LP, a grand statement of purpose that rings with instant immortality--and how could it not, containing lines like "It won't bother me if tomorrow doesn't come/And the cities slide into the sea"? From the mod threads to the addition of cool instruments like harmonica, violin, and trumpet, Slumber Party recalls a time when the four-person rock 'n' roll format was exploding with possibilities.

 
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