Elastica | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Elastica's eponymous debut is a classic bit of rip-your-head-off punk pop: classic American new wave meets modern Brit attitude. The band is led by Justine Frischmann, who spent some time as the guitarist for premania Suede and now proffers a no-nonsense rock 'n' roll of very un-Suede-like economy. The band is solidly built on a foundation of Blondie and other girl-pop bands of the past. One song sounds like a deliberate homage to Martha and the Muffins' "Echo Beach," and Frischmann loves playing around with dated bits from the period, like the mechanical lilt in songs like "Connection" and "Line Up." But she stays out of the retro bins by tarting it all up with a churning immediacy and the blasting 'tude of the songs, which are almost invariably riff-chorus-riff bursts crammed into seamless three-minute-or-less packages. The band--three women and a guy--is femme without stressing it. They call themselves tomboys and stay far away from the modern girlrock infatuation with the emotional twists and turns of boy trouble. Indeed, Elastica's central track may be "Waking Up," a slightly out-of-patience look at a woman friend who talks about starting a band but instead dreams the day away. You're pretty sure what Frischmann is thinking: Get the fuck out of bed and up on the stage. The Smoking Popes open. Saturday, 10 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 489-3160.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Juergen Teller.

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