Picks and Pans Review: Hope Against Hope

updated 07/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Band of Susans

Anyone who loves mean, unromantic electric guitar will get plenty of satisfaction from the first album by the Band of Susans. With not one but three lead guitars, this New York City-based trio creates a sound that relates to other rock music the way the Great Wall of China relates to a backyard fence. Fans will find it uncompromising; foes will call it impenetrable. In a way, the band's name is a cheat: Even though three women named Susan strum on the album (two of them have since quit the group), the lead vocalist is an angry-sounding male. But lyrics, singing and anything else on an album matter little where the constant blasting of guitars reigns supreme. It's easy to imagine a painter splattering colors on a canvas Jackson Pollock—style while listening to this stuff. Just don't plan on snuggling up before bed with these Susans: It would be about as relaxing as sticking a fork in a wall socket. (Blast First)

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