Picks and Pans Review: Desperate Children

updated 08/13/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/13/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT


Calling all record producers! The Nuns need you. The members of this hard rock quintet band, a San Francisco fixture for 13 years, command a hefty supply of talent. Now, if someone helped them pick out smart material and smooth out their schizophrenic style, they might hit it big.

Too much goes on in the Nuns' songs: heavy metal power chords clash against white rap vocals by Jeff Olener and Jennifer Miro's sometimes dulcet, sometimes powerful singing. Over the years Miro, a pale-skinned sylph with long blond hair, has developed a fine rock vocal style along Debbie Harry lines. Too often, however, she seems to fight for center stage with Leslie Spring, who plays a mean electric guitar but should back off a bit. Olener's spoken monotonic vocals also need trimming; he should be a foil, not a detraction from Miro.

Desperate Children contains a few songs that strike a nice balance, including the alluring "In the Shadows." Some cover tunes might juice up the album even more, especially since the Nuns write original songs very slowly. The new album includes a few remixes off the band's two previous releases, the last of which is four years old.

Perhaps the Nuns made an aesthetic decision to stay eccentric and obscure. Perhaps, also, they need to meet a clever producer who can persuade them to reconsider those vows. (Poshboy)

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