For Aussie Garage-Pop Tarts, Life Begins at 30

Leanne Kingwell demonstrates how a (barely) 30-year-old indie Australian can slip into American hearts and charts: with bite-size phrasing of issues that both actual teens and aspiring adolescents of all ages (especially students of Garage Glam Boogie) can understand, or think they do. (She also sold "T. Rex," her faithful '79 Chrysler Regal, and invested in good promotion.) Even "You Stink" rocks, despite being pro-hygiene; in fact, it's especially urgent, because her mom's coming over to meet you! Nevertheless, her Aussie accent resolutely sands and sauces the (frequently four-letter) truth, braving love's battlefield with a vibrant "Hero" in her pocket. The rockers here are righteous, like "Can't Get Enough," where she rams her mid-'60s Troggs-trot right into early-'70s headbang. But the ballads are my fave raves: "More" and "Blind" keep a flashlight flickering between the venetian blinds, way past dawn.

 
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