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Pale Lips - After Dark (Rum Bar)

31 May 2021

Originally released a couple of years ago before finding its way to the like-minded souls at Rum Bar, the debut album from Montreal garage pop quartet Pale Lips is a perfectly sweet ‘n ‘ sour gumball of tight melodies and trashy energy. “I’m a Witch” asserts singer Jackie Blenkarn sweetly while clearly meaning it; when she claims “You’re a Doll,” it’s unclear whether that’s a compliment or a barb. That’s not to say the band is nothing but bad attitude – “Show Me Another Way to Your Heart” and “That Old Ghost Don’t Lie” indicate plenty of depth, and boast some of the record’s most winsome melodies to boot. But the group’s true raison d’être is tuneful, three chord odes to lust (“Johnny,” “Doo-Wop Showaddaywaddy,” “Hanky Panky Franky”) and, of course, rock & roll itself (“Some Sort of Rock N’ Roll”). Somewhere between the Donnas and the Go-Go’s, Pale Lips pack a little arsenic in their candy-coated tunes.