Picks and Pans Review: Beauty and the Beat

updated 09/14/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/1981 01:00AM

The Go-Go's

The most important info about the Go-Go's is that Gina (drums), Kathy (bass), Charlotte and Jane (guitars) and Belinda (lead vocals) form an all-female band. They put a spunky '80s spin on the angelic sweetness and coy sexuality of '60s girl groups. Part of the Go-Go's update is send-up. For instance, the heroine of the cut Skidmarks on My Heart complains, "I buy you cologne/You want axle grease/You say get a mechanic/I say get a shrink." The tone, like the tempo, is bouncy and five-tongues-in-cheeky. On the other hand, their gender is unimportant. Unlike the vocals-only Shirelles, Angels, Chiffons, Supremes, et al., the women play their own instruments on a par with the male competition. Yet they formed in L.A. only three years ago, sharing zilch musical know-how. "New Wave" has become hackneyed as a term, but the Go-Go's pep and charm have created possibly the purest New Wave disc since the B-52s' Wild Planet.

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